In the midst of former President Donald Trump’s legal team preparing a defense against allegations that he unlawfully held sensitive papers, the Department of Justice announced on Wednesday night that it has began turning over evidence to the former president’s legal team. The evidence includes transcripts of grand jury testimony taken in both Washington and Florida, copies of closed-circuit television footage obtained by the government, and copies of interviews of Trump “conducted by non-government entities, which were recorded with his consent and obtained” by the prosecution team of special counsel Jack Smith. All of this evidence was obtained by the prosecution team working under the direction of special counsel Jack Smith.
The interviews include a recording of a meeting that took place in July 2021 at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, with a writer and publisher. During this meeting, Trump, according to the indictment, displayed and detailed a “plan of attack” for the Pentagon that he claimed was prepared for him by the Defense Department. The public statements that Donald Trump has made that are mentioned in the indictment have also been provided to his legal team.
This month, 37 felony accusations were brought against Trump, including 31 counts under the Espionage Act that accuse him of knowingly keeping national security information. The indictment was handed out this month. He has entered a not guilty plea and has refuted any allegations of wrongdoing.
In a legal proceeding, it is standard practice for the parties involved to exchange information and evidence with one another so that their attorneys may prepare a defense. In the early part of this week, a federal magistrate issued a protective order that places restrictions on the public publication of data that Trump obtains via the information-sharing procedure known as discovery. The goal of the order is to prevent Trump from being unfairly harmed by the investigation. An initial trial date of August 14 was set by the judge in the case, Aileen Cannon; however, it is anticipated that this date will be pushed back significantly due to the complex debates that lie ahead regarding the breadth of the evidence in the case.