US District Judge Aileen Cannon has tentatively canceled plans to hold a hearing on August 25 for a protective order in the Mar-a-Lago documents case against former President Donald Trump.
The proceeding will instead be held under seal at a later date “to discuss sensitive, security-related issues regarding classified discovery,” according to Cannon’s ruling.
Carlos De Oliveira, the most recent co-defendant in the case has been granted until August 22 to submit any briefing he wishes to provide on the proposed protective order which will set out guidelines for how classified evidence is handled in discovery.
“Cannon’s move to announce the hearing will be a sealed one comes even as court submissions weighing in on the prosecutor’s request for the protective order – known as a Section 3 motion under the Classified Information Procedures Act – have been filed publicly. It was not clear from the judge’s latest order whether she intended to publicly announce at a later date when and where the sealed hearing would be,” CNN reported.
“Lawyers for Trump and special counsel Jack Smith’s office disagree over the prosecutors’ proposed rules for where Trump can discuss with his lawyers classified evidence handed over to the defense. Trump has asked to be allowed to reestablish a secure facility at his residence that he used while he was president to hold such discussions, while Smith’s team has argued that such an accommodation would be unprecedented and that his Florida residence’s dual purpose as a “social club” makes such a set-up especially unworkable,” the outlet added.
Walt Nauta, a co-defendant and aide of President Trump, is contesting the suggestion by Smith’s legal team that he should seek court or government approval before viewing certain classified evidence. The three defendants are facing numerous charges related to alleged obstruction as well as counts of improper handling of national security information.
All three have maintained their innocence with not-guilty pleas entered into the court record.
Cannon recently criticized federal prosecutors and challenged their filings, demanding an explanation of the legality of using a grand jury from outside the district to investigate matters related to the indicted case.
In his filing, Cannon responded to the prosecution’s request for a hearing addressing any potential conflicts of interest involving Stanley Woodward, who is Trump’s ally Walt Nauta’s attorney.
“A potential conflict exists because Mr. Woodward previously represented one witness and…