Federal prosecutors overseeing the classified documents case against former President Donald J. Trump said in court filings on Friday that the evidence they are preparing to present to the defense as part of the normal discovery process contains information about “an ongoing investigation.” ” that could “identify an uncharged person.”
The court documents — the standard request for a protective order for discovered material — did not explain what the other investigations might be, or whether they were related to the indictment detailing that Mr. Trump had illegally retained dozens of defense documents and documents. hinder the government’s efforts to bring them back. The documents also did not identify who was not charged.
Still, the reference to continuing the investigation is the first public suggestion — however vague — that other criminal cases may emerge from the work done by special counsel Jack Smith last week in Miami on the espionage law and the obstruction of the prosecution of Mr. Trump. produced in.
Mr. Smith is also overseeing parallel investigations into Mr. Trump’s efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss and the subsequent attack on the Capitol by a group of his supporters on Jan. 6, 2021.
Mr. Smith’s team has questioned some witnesses close to Mr. Trump regarding documents and election interference investigations.
The government’s motion for a protective order (which Trump’s lawyers did not object to) said prosecutors were preparing to begin turning over the trove of unclassified evidence they had collected during the document investigation. This includes information about investigative techniques, material related to potential witnesses, and things like grand jury transcripts, exhibits, and tapes of witness interviews, the motion said.
It also sought to limit the disclosure of evidence to Mr. Trump’s legal team; people who might be interviewed as witnesses and their lawyers; and anyone else specifically authorized by the court.
At some point, Mr. Smith’s team will work out a process to share with Mr. Trump’s lawyers the 31 highly sensitive documents at the center of the prosecution, some of which relate to nuclear and military capabilities. On Thursday, Judge Aileen M. Cannon, a Trump appointee presiding over the case, told the lawyers they needed to begin the process of obtaining security clearances to review classified documents.
On Friday, two of Mr. Trump’s lawyers — Todd Blanche and Christopher M. Keys — informed Judge Cannon that they had contacted the Justice Department to expedite the process for clearance, which could take a month about time.
Soon after the government filed for the order, Judge Cannon referred the issue of whether to enforce the order to Bruce E. Reinhart, the federal magistrate judge assigned to her case. In the Southern District of Florida, it is common for magistrates to handle pretrial motions rather than district judges like Judge Cannon.
Judge Reinhart is no stranger to the case. Last summer, he issued the warrant the FBI used to search Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s private club and residence in Florida, indicating he believed investigators could potentially find criminal evidence at the compound.
If Judge Reinhart addresses the more substantive legal motions that Trump’s lawyers will bring in the coming months, it could be a significant step forward, as Judge Cannon is known for making early moves in Trump’s favor. Mr’s ruling was widely criticized at the investigation stage.
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