Jack Smith Wants to Censor FBI Interviews in Donald Trump Case

The chief prosecutor in Donald Trump‘s classified documents case wants to censor FBI interviews with the former president’s personal assistant so that Trump supporters cannot uncover the names of potential witnesses.

Special Counsel Jack Smith also wants to censor the search warrant for the assistant’s phone and Apple iCloud before the warrants are released to the public.

Smith previously told Judge Aileen Cannon that he fears witness intimidation from Trump supporters if the information becomes public.

Trump is facing 40 federal charges over allegations he retained classified papers after leaving the White House in January 2021 and then obstructed efforts by authorities to have them returned.

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Former President Donald Trump at a Get Out the Vote rally at Winthrop University on February 23 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Trump has pleaded not guilty in federal court in Florida with illegally hoarding…

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Smith was replying to an application for discovery material made by Walt Nauta, Trump’s personal assistant. Nauta is charged along with Trump with obstructing federal officials who demanded Trump return classified documents he removed from the White House after he lost the 2020 presidential election. Nauta has also pleaded not guilty.

Newsweek sought email comment on Wednesday from attorneys for Trump and Nauta.

In a document filed in court on Tuesday, Smith listed more than 20 sets of documents that would have to be either completely sealed, or redacted or censored.

By making the application, Smith offered a glimpse into the evidence the government holds in what has been a tightly controlled case.

Smith’s latest application to censor or seal documents only relates to investigation material not the thousands of pages of classified documents and other presidential material found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

His application includes a request to redact the transcripts of interviews the FBI conducted with Nauta, as well as Nauta’s grand jury testimony, before the transcripts become publicly accessible.

Smith proposed limiting the FBI transcripts “to specific pages and portions related to proposition for which defense cites to exhibit, incorporating the Government’s proposed redactions to those pages.”

The application was made by attorneys Jay I. Bratt, David V. Harbach and Anne P. McNamara on Smith’s behalf.

The documents in the case have to be redacted because of the need for “witness safety” and because they contain “potential witness names” and “references [to] other non-public potential Government witness names and testimony,” the prosecution document says.

Prosecutors are also seeking to censor search warrants for Nauta’s Apple iCloud and his phones, as well as the names of FBI agents included on the search warrant for Mar-a-Lago.

The grand jury testimony and FBI interview with at least one other potential witness should be completely sealed from public view, Smith said in his application.