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Judge Refuses Media Request For Records On Mar-a-Lago Papers Case

A federal judge rejected a request by media organizations to gain access to records related to a dispute over compliance with a grand jury subpoena for classified documents stored at former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Chief U.S. District Judge, Beryl Howell in Washington, D.C., issued an order Saturday turning down efforts by news outlets to obtain the legal pleadings related to the fight, as well as transcripts of related closed-door court sessions, Politico reports. News organizations unsuccessfully attempted to gain access to a proceeding Howell held with Trump’s lawyers reportedly relating to contempt proceedings over Trump’s compliance with the documents probe.

In her new ruling, Howell said revealing the records publicly would invade grand jury secrecy. She said, “The requested filings would invariably and consistently touch on ‘matters occurring before the grand jury.’ ”. Last month, Howell denied a similar access request from Politico and the New York Times for information about privilege battles relating to prosecutors’ efforts to call former White House aides before a grand jury investigating attempts to interfere with certification of the 2020 presidential election. Howell did unseal several significant filings in a grand jury matter connected to Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), a key ally in Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election. Howell said the grand jury materials in that case could be released after an appeals court held public arguments about the matter that revealed details that had previously been public. Howell is set to end her seven-year term as chief judge this week. Grand jury-related matters are expected to be transferred to her successor, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg.


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