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March 30, 2023
A federal judge in Washington, DC ruled this week against giving the media access to records related to the compliance case against former president Donald Trump and his possession of classified government documents at Mar-a-Lago.
US District Court Judge Beryl Howell ruled over the weekend that the media would not be allowed access to court transcripts related to the case or any of the legal filings. The judge noted that granting the media’s request for the records may compromise grand jury data.
In a six-page ruling, Howell wrote, “Responding to petitioners’ request would be infeasible without disclosing grand jury material because, if the government asked to hold the former president in contempt, as petitioners allege, that request would have been part of an effort to secure compliance with the grand jury Subpoena.” Howell added, “The requested filings would invariably and consistently touch on ‘matters occurring before the grand jury.”
Howell denied a request for access to similar records in December in a case related to January 6 and Trump’s claims of executive privilege. Politico and the New York Times had requested access to some documents related to the case based on their historical significance, but the judge ruled that alone was not reason enough.
Howell, who was an Obama appointee, is set to end her seven year term on the bench next week, and any unfinished proceedings will be transferred to her successor.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: USA TODAY