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Georgia judge issues order to prevent disclosure of confidential evidence in Trump election crime case

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Georgia judge issues order to prevent disclosure of confidential evidence in Trump election crime case

The judge presides Donald TrumpThe racketeering case over attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia has an issue of a Protective order on sensitive discovery materials in the case.

In his order, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee wrote that a protective order was necessary in part because it “gives the parties full opportunity to share pretrial materials with the public,” which undermines the process.

The move comes a day after a hearing that centered on the leak of key video evidence by a defense attorney for one of Trump’s co-defendants.

“After reviewing the proposed protective orders, the law, and counsel’s reasoning, the court concludes that the issuance of a protective order regarding pretrial discovery is necessary and justified given the unique circumstances of this case,” McAfee wrote in his ruling.

Under Thursday’s order, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office is responsible for specifically labeling discovery materials it deems sensitive. The defendants have up to 14 days to challenge this designation.

If prosecutors and defense attorneys cannot agree on the sensitivity of the materials, a motion must be filed with the court. In the meantime, the defense must treat any disputed discovery as “sensitive” material until the motion is decided by the court, the order said.

Additionally, the order states that defense attorneys can preserve the materials in good faith. Fulton County prosecutors had suggested that defense attorneys would have to come to the prosecutor’s office in person to review the materials.

Prosecutors asked McAfee to issue the protective order to restrict defendants’ handling of materials obtained in the investigation process after video recordings of interviews with defendants who reached plea agreements with prosecutors were leaked to the press earlier this week.

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