A federal judge has ordered Donald Trump’s attorney Evan Corcoran to provide additional testimony in an investigation into the former president’s handling of classified documents. The ruling is a significant development in special counsel Jack Smith’s criminal investigation and comes as yet another legal loss for Trump. Corcoran had previously testified to the grand jury but declined to answer some questions, citing attorney-client privilege. The Justice Department argued he should not be able to avoid answering because his discussions with Trump may have been part of an attempt to plan a crime.
A federal judge has ordered former President Donald Trump’s attorney Evan Corcoran to provide additional testimony as part of an investigation into the mishandling of classified documents and obstruction of justice. Corcoran could become a crucial witness in special counsel Jack Smith’s criminal investigation. District Judge Beryl Howell said that Justice Department prosecutors have met the threshold for the crime-fraud exception for Corcoran, who had previously declined to answer some questions citing attorney-client privilege. The department argued he should not be able to avoid answering because his discussions with Trump may have been part of an attempt to plan a crime.
The ruling is one of Howell’s last on sealed grand jury disputes as chief judge, and she has repeatedly green-lit Justice Department requests to pursue information about Trump’s actions during her tenure as chief of DC District Court, but rotates out on Friday. When Corcoran first testified earlier this year, he was asked about what happened in the lead-up to August’s search at Mar-a-Lago which found hundreds of government records including classified material despite his attestation there were no more such documents present.
Trump’s team and allies tried unsuccessfully hold off Smith’s investigators from learning about direct conversations between him and close advisers while accusations against him were made by prosecutors arguing for grand jury testimony.