Security for the federal judge assigned to oversee the criminal case against former President Donald Trump for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election has been increased at the federal courthouse in Washington, DC.
CNN observed increased security described to Judge Tanya Chutkan, and deputy US Marshals discussed security plans for the judge on Monday. The U.S. Marshals Service provides security at the D.C. District Court, and a spokesman for the agency said it “takes that responsibility very seriously.”
“Ensuring that judges can rule independently and free from harm or harassment is paramount to the rule of law and a fundamental mission of the USMS,” spokesman Drew J. Wade told CNN. “While we do not discuss our specific security measures, we are continually reviewing existing measures and taking appropriate steps to ensure the integrity of the federal judicial process.”
The uptick in security at the courthouse comes after security measures, including fences and yellow tape, were removed following Trump’s indictment last week. That hearing, where Trump pleaded not guilty, was presided over by a magistrate. Chutkan takes over the business from there.
Trump has already said he will ask Chutkan to withdraw from the case, writing in capital letters on social media: “There is no way I can get a fair trial with the judge ‘assigned’ to the ridiculous liberty of expression/honesty. election case.”
Federal prosecutors are asking for a protection order limiting what Trump and his team can do with evidence shared with them by discovery in the 2020 election case. Prosecutors point to Trump’s public statements that they say could have a “damaging chilling effect on witnesses or could adversely affect the due process of justice in this case”.
Prosecutors pointed to Trump’s Truth Social post last week that read, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’LL COME AFTER YOU!”
Chutkan declined a request for an extension of time from Trump’s legal team to respond to the protection order request.
Trump’s legal team proposed less restrictive rules than prosecutors regarding evidence in the case, relying heavily on claims that special prosecutors are running a politically motivated campaign to limit his First Amendment rights.
The first hearing for Chutkan is scheduled for August 28, when she is expected to set a trial date in the case.
Security has also been heightened at Georgia’s Fulton County Superior Court, where a decision is expected soon on whether to indict Trump for attempting to overturn the election results in that state.
A road in front of the Fulton County Courthouse has been closed, orange plastic barricades have been erected around the perimeter, and more law enforcement and K-9 units have been sighted.
This story has been updated with additional details.
CNN’s Jason Morris and Tierney Sneed contributed to this report.
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