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Judge denies deadline extension in Trump’s election fraud case

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(NewsNation) — The federal judge presiding over former President Donald Trump’s election fraud case denied his legal team’s request for a deadline extension, ordering attorneys to respond to the prosecutor’s request for a protective order by Monday.

Last Friday, special counsel Jack Smith requested a strict protective order to prevent Trump from publicly discussing the case evidence.

The request came after Trump made a post on Truth Social appearing to threaten witnesses in the case.

“IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” Trump wrote on Truth Social Friday.

After Judge Tanya Chutkan ordered Trump’s lawyers to respond to the Justice Department’s call for the protective order by Monday at 5 p.m ET, his legal team requested more time to weigh what restriction should be imposed, asking for time until Thursday to make a decision, CNN reports.

Smith’s team urged Chutkan to stick to her original ruling, calling the request an “unnecessary delay,” a Saturday court filing outlined

Chutkan swiftly denied that extension request Saturday evening, reaffirming that Trump must abide by Monday’s deadline.

Protective orders are common in criminal cases, but prosecutors said it’s “particularly important in this case” because Trump has posted on social media about “witnesses, judges, attorneys, and others associated with legal matters pending against him.”

Prosecutors’ proposed protective order seeks to prevent Trump and his lawyers from disclosing materials provided by the government to anyone other than people on his legal team, possible witnesses, the witnesses’ lawyers or others approved by the court. It would put stricter limits on “sensitive materials,” which would include grand jury witness testimony and materials obtained through sealed search warrants.

A Trump spokesperson said in an emailed statement that the former president’s post “is the definition of political speech,” and was made in response to “dishonest special interest groups and Super PACs.”

Chutkan, a former assistant public defender nominated to the bench by President Barack Obama, has been one of the toughest punishers of rioters who stormed the Capitol in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack, fueled by Trump’s baseless claims of a stolen election.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.