(WASHINGTON) — A day after the special counsel’s office and President Donald Trump’s legal team filed dueling motions regarding a proposed protective order in the Jan. 6 case, the judge in the case has scheduled a hearing on the matter for Friday morning.
The order from Judge Tanya Chutkan, filed Tuesday afternoon, does not require Trump to attend the hearing.
On Monday night, the judge ordered both sides to file their available dates and times after attorneys spent the day filing competing motions over the proposed protective order special counsel Jack Smith asked the judge to impose on Trump to keep him from disclosing evidence obtained during Smith’s investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Trump has pleaded not guilty to charges of undertaking a “criminal scheme” to overturn the results of the election by enlisting a slate of so-called “fake electors” targeting several states; using the Justice Department to conduct “sham election crime investigations”; and trying to enlist the vice president to “alter the election results” — all in an effort to subvert democracy and remain in power.
The former president has denied all wrongdoing and has dismissed the probe as politically motivated.
Smith asked the judge for the protective order on Friday, referencing a social media post Trump made Friday afternoon in which he said, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” In a statement issued after Smith’s filing on Friday, the Trump campaign said the post was aimed at political interest groups.
In their filing on Monday, Trump’s attorneys accused Smith’s team of asking Judge Chutkan to “assume the role of censor and impose content-based regulations on President Trump’s political speech that would forbid him from publicly discussing or disclosing all non-public documents produced by the government, including both purportedly sensitive materials, and non-sensitive, potentially exculpatory documents.”
In a quick response filed Monday night, Smith accused Trump’s legal team of proposing an order “designed to allow him to try this case in the media rather than in the courtroom.”
Responding on Tuesday to Chutkan’s order regarding potential hearing dates, Trump’s attorneys said in their filing that they would prefer arguments to be scheduled for Monday or Tuesday of next week when both of Trump’s attorneys can be present, as attorney Todd Blanche is set to appear in Florida on Thursday for Trump’s arraignment on the new superseding indictment brought by Smith in his probe of Trump’s handling of classified documents.
Trump’s team said that if neither of those days were acceptable, attorney John Lauro would be available for a hearing on Thursday.
The special counsel’s office said they were available for the hearing at any time Wednesday through Friday.
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