DC Judge Sides With Trump In Major Development In Election Case
According to Fox News, the judge Obama nominated to preside over the federal government’s J6 case against former President Donald Trump has sided with the defense and issued a critical judgment expanding access to evidence.
Attorneys for President Trump and the federal government sparred on Friday in front of U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington, D.C. over the former president’s propensity to share “sensitive” information about the case publicly via his platform on Truth Social. In addition to posting lengthy attacks on “deranged Jack Smith,” the special counsel supervising both federal cases against him, President Trump has made predictions about when he will be indicted on criminal charges.
Calling it a “close” decision, Judge Chutkan said the government failed to prove that the broad scope of information requested to be placed under protected order was in the public’s interest.
“The defendant has the right to free speech, but that right is not absolute,” Chutkan said at the onset of the hearing. “Without a protective order, a party could release that info to the jury pool.”
According to federal prosecutor Thomas Windom’s speech, the president and his team have devised a plan to try their case in the court of public opinion, and the Biden Justice Department’s case against Trump, which alleges that he actively plotted to overturn the results of the 2020 election, could be jeopardized by the president’s ability to speak freely.
“The defendant has set forth an intention to set forth any information that they deem informative. Defense has broadcast their strategy, and that is not to try this case in this courtroom, and your honor should address that,” Windom told the judge.
Trump’s attorney John Lauro’s claim that the government’s request was “extraordinary” was the clinching factor, despite the judge’s agreement with that view.
“We are in uncharted waters, we have a defendant running for president and his opponent has the DOJ bringing charges against him,” Lauro said.
While Chutkan has a reputation for being progressive due to her harsh sentencing of J6 inmates, she clarified that her decision to deny a blanket protective order was not intended to imply that the president’s right to free speech should be absolute. Similarly, Trump is still the frontrunner to face off against President Joe Biden in 2020, thus a protective order wasn’t a factor in her decision.
Federal prosecutors must now go back to the drawing board and narrow the scope of evidence they wish to be withheld from public disclosure.