Reporters Claim Florida Court Shut Off Wifi During Trump Hearing to Prevent Live-Tweeting

The court also allegedly banned texting during a hearing where Trump's legal team sparred with the Department of Justice over seized documents.

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Readers hoping to receive up-to-date reporting on today’s legal flash between Trump lawyers and the Department of Justice will have to wait.

Reporters covering the Trump hearing Thursday claim the court shut off its Wifi to prevent reporters from live-tweeting and reporting the hearing. The court also reportedly banned texting, allegedly leaving reporters unable to communicate the hearing’s events in real time.

Reuters DOJ reporter Sarah Lynch shared details about the court’s apparent move on Twitter.


“Florida court is turning wi-fi off to block the media from reporting the Trump hearing in real-time,” Lynch wrote. “This truly sucks and I don’t understand it. We do this in DC District Court all the time. It makes courts accessible to the public. I am beyond annoyed.”


The Florida court reportedly confirmed the Wifi shutterings with The Independent Thursday afternoon but did not provide more details on its decision. Gizmodo was able to find an administrative order listed on the Southern District of Florida’s website that, “prohibits text messaging, emailing, recording, photographing, and the general use of mobile electronic devices from inside courtrooms,” unless otherwise authorized by a judge. It’s unclear, however, how consistently this rule is adhered to.


Trump’s legal team and the DOJ sparred during the hearing over Trump’s legal team’s request to have a “special master” put in place to review the trove of documents seized from the former president’s Mar-a-Lago office. Trump’s team wants the judge to appoint the special master—a third-party attorney appointed by the court—to review the seized documents and determine whether or not they include attorney-client privileges.

“The government should provide to the special master and to move a copy of the seized materials, a copy of the search warrant, and an unredacted copy of the underlying application materials,” Trump’s legal team said in a court filing spotted by NBC News. “Left unchecked, the DOJ will impugn, leak, and publicize selective aspects of their investigation with no recourse for motive but to somehow trust the self-restraint of currently unchecked investigators.”


The DOJ responded by issuing their own court filing arguing the appointment of a special master is unnecessary and, “would significantly harm important governmental interests, including national security interests.” Aileen Cannon, the judge presiding over the hearing, hinted support for the Trump team’s request over the weekend.

This story is developing.