Case 1:23-cr-00257-TSC Document 57 Filed 09/15/23 Page 16 of 19
targeting of specific witnesses seeks to either bolster or impeach witnesses not before this Court but instead in the court of public opinion before trial begins.
A supplemental order that extends some of the prohibitions that apply to defense counsel to the defendant himself is particularly warranted. Shortly after the indictment in this case was unsealed, the defendant’s lead counsel began a series of lengthy and detailed interviews in which he potentially tainted the jury pool by disseminating information and opinions about the case and a potential witness and described in detail legal defenses that he plans to mount, including defenses that may never be raised in court or that may be rejected by the Court before ever reaching the jury 2¹ Many of these statements by lead counsel violated Local Criminal Rule 57.7(b), which prohibits attorneys from releasing public extrajudicial statements regarding, among other things, “the identity, testimony, or credibility of prospective witnesses” and the “merits of the case or the evidence in the case.” In the time since the Court admonished the parties and counsel at the hearing regarding the motion for a protective order on August 11, 2023, see 8/11/23 Hr’g Tr. at 72, the Government is unaware of lead counsel making any additional public statements of this nature. The defendant, however, has persisted. The Court should therefore enter the order proposed by
2¹ See, e.g., CNN (August 1, 2023), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW7Bixvkpc0; NPR (August 2, 2023), https://www.npr.org/2023/08/02/1191627739/trump-charges-indictmentattorney-jan-6-probe;
CNN https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2023/08/06/sotu-lauro-full.cnn; ABC, This Week (August 6,
https://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/mike-pence-best-witnesses-trial-john-lauro102054360; NBC, Meet the Press (August 6, 2023), https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-thepress/video/august-6-john-lauro-and-rep-jamie-raskin-190118469904; CBS, Face the Nation Fox,
(August 6, 2023), https://www.cbsnews.com/video/face-the-nation-lauro-phillips-krebs/; Fox News Sunday (August 6, 2023), https://www.foxnews.com/video/6332525513112; CBS, Face the Nation (August 6, 2023); For the Defense with David Oscar Marcus (August 6, 2023), https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/john-lauro-for-donald-j