Trump Attorney Must Testify About Talks With Ex-President In Mar-a-Lago Inquiry, Judge Rules
The Chief Justice of the Federal District Court of Washington, DC, has urged Evan Corcoran, the Maryland-based attorney who represented former President Donald Trump in the weeks leading up to the August 8 FBI search of his Palm Beach, Florida home previously testifying to a grand jury about conversations he had with Mr Trump over efforts to locate and return classified documents to the US government.
According to multiple reports, Judge Beryl Howell has granted a request by Jack Smith, the Justice Department special counsel overseeing several investigations into Mr Trump, to break the attorney-client privilege Mr Corcoran would normally enjoy as a member of the ex-president’s legal team.
The prosecution’s motion — made in secret and argued because it relates to grand jury trials — asked the judge to compel Mr. Corcoran to testify under the so-called attorney-client privilege exception for felony fraud. Mr Corcoran had claimed the privilege was intended to protect him from answering certain questions when he previously appeared before the grand jury investigating Mr Trump’s alleged unlawful retention of classified information at his Mar-a-Lago residence.
But the felony fraud exception requires a judge to find that the conversations in question should not be protected because there is a high likelihood that the attorney was involved in a crime with his client or was accustomed to the legal advice he was giving on Crime.
Accordingly the washington post, Mr Trump’s legal team has not seen the verdict and will not see it until the government can propose redactions to preserve classified information describing investigative processes, sources or methods.
They are also expected to ask new chief judge James Boasberg to stay Judge Howell’s order pending appeal when he takes over as chief judge on Saturday.
But the ruling is a major victory for Mr Smith, whom Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed last year with charges to investigate crimes that may have been committed by Mr Trump, including his alleged unlawful retention of classified information and his alleged obstruction of a further investigation into the Secrecy Documents that FBI agents found on his property during the Aug. 8 search and in boxes Mr. Trump turned over to the National Archives in January last year ended up there.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-lawyer-mar-a-lago-conversations-b2303271.html Trump Attorney Must Testify About Talks With Ex-President In Mar-a-Lago Inquiry, Judge Rules