Federal Judge Orders Donald Trump’s Attorney to Testify, Turns His Private Notes Over to Federal Prosecutors in Classified Documents Probe

This image contained in a court filing by the Department of Justice on Aug. 30, 2022, and
Department of Justice via AP

A federal judge ruled Friday that an attorney to former President Donald Trump must testify in the probe into Trump’s handling of classified documents.

She also turned over the attorney’s private notes to the Department of Justice (DOJ), according to the Daily Beast.

Chief Judge Beryll Howell – in her last act before rotating to another post – ruled that the DOJ could question Evan Corcoran, who is representing the former president in the DOJ’s investigation into his alleged mishandling of documents, CNN noted Friday.

Sources say Howell determined prosecutors had met “the threshold for the crime-fraud exception for Corcoran,” per CNN.

Reuters reported in February that Corcoran had retained legal counsel of his own after testifying before a grand jury in January in connection with the documents probe.  

A spokesperson for Trump’s legal team argued the move signaled the weakness of the prosecution’s case, per CNN:

“Whenever prosecutors target the attorneys, that’s usually a good indication their underlying case is very weak. If they had a real case, they wouldn’t need to play corrupt games with the Constitution. Every American has the right to consult with counsel and have candid discussions – this promotes adherence to the law,” the spokesperson said.

Politico reported that on Friday – the same day Howell gave the order – she departed her post as chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The outlet noted that other members of the federal bench, including Howell’s successor, Judge James Boasberg, “toasted, and occasionally roasted,” her, taking a particular interest in her rulings on cases involving Trump.

“What fascinating issues!” Judge Paul Friedman, “the most senior jurist on the court,” said, per Politico. “We’d all love to read her opinions, but we can’t.”

Trump has consistently denied wrongdoing since his home at Mar-a-Lago was raided in August, saying in a statement that month that the materials in question had all been declassified and that authorities could have simply requested the documents rather than conducting a raid.


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