Judge orders Trump lawyer to hand over notes and transcripts about classified documents
Even MORE bad legal news for Trump: Court orders his attorney Evan Corcoran to testify Friday – and turn over his notes and audio relating to why ex-President kept classified documents in Mar-a-Lago
- Judge issued a sealed ruling Friday that Trump lawyer should testify again
- She wrote letter to DOJ mentioning ‘criminal violations’
- Trump camp blasted ‘illegal’ leaks and said there is no basis for any case
A federal appeals court panel in D.C. ruled Wednesday that Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran must hand over documents to Justice Department prosecutors investigating classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago.
Corcoran drafted a statement to the Justice Department last year claiming that a ‘diligent search’ for classified documents had been conducted at the former president’s Florida residence in response to a subpoena.
Months later, though, FBI agents searched Trump’s home with a warrant and found roughly 100 additional documents with classified markings.
The three-judge panel upheld a ruling last week by District Court Judge Beryl Howell that Corcoran must provide notes and transcripts to Special Counsel Jack Smith.
Donald Trump’s campaign is pushing back against a report based on a judge’s sealed letter on potential criminal violations in conversations being shielded by Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran. An Appeals Court panel on Wednesday upheld a lower court’s ruling that Corcoran must provide documents and information Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office is seeking
The ruling ended a temporary stay blocking the order and directed the unidentified parties to comply with the sealed order.
The legal details seemingly correlate with a closed-door fight before a lower court judge over whether M. Evan Corcoran could be forced to provide documents or give grand jury testimony in the Justice Department special counsel probe into whether Trump mishandled top-secret information at Mar-a-Lago.
Last Friday, Beryl Howell, the outgoing chief judge of the U.S. District Court, directed Corcoran to answer more questions before the grand jury. He had appeared before the Mar-A-Lago federal grand jury weeks earlier but invoked attorney-client privilege to avoid answering certain questions.
A Trump spokeswoman blasted a news report as ‘Fake News’ and ‘ILLEGALLY LEAKED,’ after portions of a letter by Howell to Special Counsel Jack Smith about the investigation of the former president’s handling of government documents meant to be turned over to the National Archives.
Though attorney-client privilege protects lawyers from being forced to share details of their conversations with clients with law enforcement, that legal shield can be removed in a case of ‘crime-fraud.’ Namely, if a lawyer’s services are used by a client to further a crime, there’s no legal protection for legal communication.
The three judges that issued the decision included Cornelia Pillard, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, and J. Michelle Childs and Florence Pan, both appointees of President Joe Biden.
Corcoran is scheduled to testify before a grand jury on Friday, separate from the Manhattan grand jury in NYC, reports CNN.
Former President Donald Trump’s team blasted the developments in federal court, during a week when Trump is facing potential indictment in Manhattan in another case
Jack Smith was in November appointed a special prosecutor by the Justice Department, and tasked with looking into Trump’s handling of classified documents and his actions around January 6
U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell ruled that Corcoran should testify
More than 100 documents marked ‘classified’ were subsequently identified at Mar-a-Lago during an FBI search following attestations of a diligent search