Judge Ural Glanville instituted restrictions on the communication between lawyers and their clients in the Young Thug/YSL RICO case.
The judge called for limitations after prosecutors raised concerns about leaked discovery information and witness intimidation. Young Thug’s lawyer Brian Steel pushed back, suggesting his client posed no danger to any witness.
Steel also insisted Young Thug had no cell phone access in jail. The prosecution countered the attorney’s claim by citing the rapper’s recent social media activity.
“This is part of the conversation I had with all of you about your teams and everybody else,” Judge Glanville said. “You really gotta zealously clamp down on—it’s like dealing with classified information. It’s need to know at this point in time. And if people don’t need to know, you don’t need to disclose it. And it’s gonna get somebody either hurt or somebody in a lot of trouble.”
Steel responded by defending Young Thug’s Twitter exchange with swimmer Michael Phelps. The lawyer claimed someone else posted it on his client’s behalf.
“That last tweet that was sent out to Michael Phelps is recorded,” Steel said. “It’s been investigated by the sheriff of that county. And it was a conversation that was recorded between [Young Thug] and a member of his close family, close friendships. He asked the other person who’s in control of his Twitter account to send that, or the Instagram, maybe. That is not a reason to [restrict].”
Judge Glanville saw it as an example of Young Thug’s ability to relay messages from behind bars.
“Well, this is part of the conversation, Mr. Steele, you and others are gonna need to have with your clients,” the judge said. “Because this is part of the state’s concern.”
Steel replied, “That was an innocent—that’s nothing bad. Asking somebody to tweet to Michael Phelps, ‘Can you swim 100 miles in the ocean?’ That has nothing to do with intimidation.”
But Judge Glanville was unconvinced by Steel’s arguments.
“Well, if I can communicate through a family member or somebody else, then I can communicate something else,” the judge surmised.
Young Thug will remain in jail while awaiting trial in the RICO case. He was denied bond three times since his arrest in May.