Judge denies Trump team's extension request

August 6, 2023
Robert Ayers

A judge has denied former President Donald Trump's motion for an extension to respond to the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) request for a protective order, NPR reports

Trump, of course, is facing several criminal indictments from the Democrats. This particular court filing has to do with the latest indictment that special counsel Jack Smith has filed against Trump - the one regarding the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

Smith has charged Trump with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, one count of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, one count of obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and one count of conspiracy against rights.

Trump has already pled not guilty to these charges, and his next court appearance is expected to take place later this month.

What's going on?

On Friday night, at about 10 p.m., Smith and the DOJ filed the protective order with the court. It appears that what precipitated the filing is the following social media message from Trump:

If you go after me, I’m coming after you!

Smith claimed, in the filing, that he has concerns that Trump might improperly share with the public information that he receives from Smith and the government during the case. Smith pointed to the above social media post to support his so-called concerns.

The point of the protective order is to limit what Trump and his legal team can publicly say about the case.

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan - who reportedly has deep Democratic ties - initially gave Trump and his legal team until Monday at 5:00 p.m. to respond to Smith's filing.

This is when Trump responded with a filing of his own, asking Chutkan to extend this deadline until August 10.

Motion denied

Trump's legal team, in their motion, wrote, "Friday evening ultimatums, given by the government before even calling the defense counsel, are wholly unproductive and undermine the potential for a party-driven resolution."

"Requiring a Monday response to a Friday evening motion likewise forecloses the possibility of agreement and would encourage such improper tactics by the government in the future," they added.

Chutkan, nevertheless, denied Trump's motion, requiring him to respond to Smith's protective order request by Monday at 5:00 p.m.

Practically, what this means is that, if Trump wants to challenge the order, he has to file a revised version of the protective order before the Monday deadline.

It would appear that Chutkan, as anticipated, is already trying to tip the scale in the government's favor.

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