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Judge restricts Donald Trump's access to classified information in Florida case

A federal judge Wednesday ruled to restrict former President Donald Trump’s access to classified information in the case against him in Florida, affirming recommendations by special counsel Jack Smith. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
A federal judge Wednesday ruled to restrict former President Donald Trump’s access to classified information in the case against him in Florida, affirming recommendations by special counsel Jack Smith. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Sept. 13 (UPI) -- A federal judge Wednesday ruled to restrict former President Donald Trump's access to classified information in the case against him in Florida, affirming recommendations by special counsel Jack Smith.

Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump-nominated judge presiding over the classified documents case, also ruled to restrict Trump's ability to discuss classified information, including with his defense team. She emphasized that a violation of these orders may also be a violation of the law.

Trump, who is campaigning for the Republican nomination for re-election, has pushed for flexibility about how and where he can discuss classified records with his defense team. The team has sought the ability to pore over information with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida or his Bedminster, N.J., home. Smith has opposed this, CNBC reported.

The defense will be allowed to access information that may be used as evidence only during certain hours, following procedures laid out by a chief information security officer, or through special requests approved by the officer, with consultation from the court and the U.S. Marshals Service. This will be done at an established sensitive compartmented information facility.

Cannon's order did not specify whether such a facility would be established at any of Trump's properties at any point in the future.

Former President Donald Trump is facing 37 charges related to the mishandling of classified documents, according to a federal indictment filed on June 8, in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida in Miami. File Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Justice/UPI
Former President Donald Trump is facing 37 charges related to the mishandling of classified documents, according to a federal indictment filed on June 8, in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida in Miami. File Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Justice/UPI

If evidence becomes public information, Trump and his team will still be restricted from making statements about it.

The ruling by Cannon comes after a sealed hearing Tuesday over how classified information will be handled.

Special Counsel Jack Smith requested a protective order from the judge to prevent former President Donald Trump from discussing details of the case regarding classified documents publicly. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
Special Counsel Jack Smith requested a protective order from the judge to prevent former President Donald Trump from discussing details of the case regarding classified documents publicly. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

Smith requested a protective order from the judge to prevent Trump from discussing details of the case publicly. Trump faces charges relating to his handling of classified government documents. He is alleged to have kept boxes of documents at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.

The FBI searched Mar-A-Lago and retrieved boxes of documents last summer.