Donald Trump is banned from talking on social media about evidence in the classified documents case, thanks to a protective order issued Monday.
Trump pleaded not guilty last week to 37 counts of keeping classified information without authorization, making false statements, and conspiring to obstruct justice. Federal prosecutors requested the protective order on Friday, arguing they needed to protect “sensitive and confidential” information.
Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart has acquiesced, issuing an order that significantly restricts the ways Trump can access evidence in the case and share it online. Unless he has permission from a judge, Trump is not allowed to share information about the evidence to anyone not involved with the case.
He also cannot see any of the prosecutors’ evidence unless he is in the presence of his lawyers, and he definitely cannot keep any copies of the evidence. If he violates any of these new rules, he could face criminal contempt charges.
Trump also had to sign a form promising, like Bart Simpson writing on the chalkboard, “I will not further disclose or disseminate the Discovery Materials.”
Given Trump’s penchant for just tweeting out important decisions or insider information, it’s unsurprising that Reinhart issued a protective order. This isn’t the first time Trump had to be disciplined before a trial even got underway: In May, the judge presiding over Trump’s Manhattan criminal case on the alleged payment of hush money to Stormy Daniels issued a protective order stating that the people involved in the lawsuit are not allowed to share evidence from the case on social media. Trump can still discuss the case publicly and is only restricted from sharing information about the evidence.
Prosecutors had argued Trump has a “long-standing history” of attacking people involved in his legal disputes. The judge also ordered Trump to attend a hearing specifically to be told to stop trying to intimidate witnesses.