Washington — Lawyers representing former President Donald Trump and special counsel Jack Smith are expected to argue in separate closed-door hearings Monday over the use of classified evidence in the investigation..
Trump attends Fort Pierce, Fla., portion of hearings in which his defense attorneys and those of his co-defendants —And — will present Judge Aileen Canon with classified information they believe may be necessary at trial, CBS News has learned.
Nauta and de Oliveira, however, are not allowed to attend Monday’s closed-door hearing because they do not have the necessary permissions to view what could be highly sensitive government information.
The former president is charged with 40 counts, including illegal retention of national defense information, after prosecutors said he illegally retained government documents bearing classified markings after leaving office. The former president and his two co-defendants are also accused of obstructing the federal investigation. All have pleaded not guilty and denied wrongdoing.
Often, criminal cases dealing with classified information require closed hearings under the Classified Information Proceedings Act (CIPA), which gives defense attorneys and prosecutors the opportunity to discuss evidence in secret sensitive information that will be essential to the defense of their case at trial.
Judge Aileen Cannon ordered lawyers for Trump and his co-defendants to be prepared to discuss their “theories” at trial and “how any classified information might be relevant or helpful to the defense.”
The Special Prosecutor’s team will then have the opportunity to respond and address other sensitive issues. Prosecutors often work to limit the number of classified documents they use in court cases to prevent vital government information from being made public.
Monday’s hearing comes amid ongoing and contentious court filings between Smith, Cannon and the defense on separate CIPA and non-CIPA issues, including whether Nauta and de Oliveira should be allowed to view thousands of classified documents. Their lawyers argue that the defendants themselves should have access to it, while the Justice Department argues that the evidence is too sensitive.
Last week, Cannon spoke out against Smith’s team when it allowed Trump and his co-defendants to file public motions in court that may contain protected information, including the identities and testimony of witnesses. The special counsel strongly urged the judge to reconsider his decision, citing threats to the witnesses’ safety.
A media coalition including CBS News also filed a motion seeking release of the information.
Prosecutors wrote that any public disclosure in court filings risks making public “many potential witnesses, along with the substance of statements they made to the FBI or grand jury, exposing them to significant and immediate risk of threat.” , intimidation and harassment, as was the case.” This has already happened to witnesses, law enforcement officers, court officers, and Justice Department employees whose identities have been revealed in cases in which defendant Trump is involved. »
Smith’s team previously revealed that a potential witness had been threatened and that an investigation was underway.
Cannon has set a May trial date for the classified documents trial and a key hearing in March will decide whether the case will proceed to that date. Still, prosecutors accused Trump and his co-defendants of working to delay the trial, writing in court papers that they deployed “relentless and deceptive” tactics as part of a “relentless effort” to delay the trial .
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