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August 14 Trial Date Set For Trump; Delays Likely On Security Issues

Donald Trump’s criminal trial for hoarding military secrets at Mar-a-Lago has a starting date — Aug. 14 — but don’t expect it to hold, Politico reports. U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon bookmarked the last two weeks in August for the historic trial That would represent a startlingly rapid pace for a case that is expected to be complicated and require lengthy pretrial wrangling over extraordinarily sensitive classified secrets. A federal judge issued a protective order Monday barring former President Trump from having access to discovery evidence in his classified documents case without a lawyer present, and from sharing the information with the public or the media. The order by Magistrate Bruce Reinhart also applies to Waltine "Walt" Nauta, Trump's former White House valet, who has been charged with Trump in the 38-count indictment. Both men appeared in federal court last Tuesday, and Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 charges alleging he kept national defense records after leaving the White House and conspired to obstruct justice by hiding them. Nauta was given permission to get a second attorney on his legal team before entering a plea, reports USA Today.

Reinhart's order applies not only to discovery materials --the potentially exculpatory evidence gathered by prosecutors and shared with the defense --but also "any information derived therefrom." Violations of the order could result in contempt of court or civil or criminal sanctions against Trump and Nauta. Bradley Moss, a national security lawyer, said such protective orders are standard practice in federal cases involving accusations of mishandling classified national security documents and suspected violations of the Espionage Act. Moss said Trump's history of trying to gain political mileage from his legal troubles may have factored into the decision, "but this is something I would expect to see in just about any Espionage Act case."

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