Judge allows DOJ to question Trump's attorney in classified docs case
The Washington Examiner reports that a federal judge has just ordered one of former President Donald Trump's personal attornies to testify before a grand jury in relation to the classified documents case.
This is the same classified documents case that culminated in the unprecedented FBI raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence last August. The case is currently in the hands of U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) special counsel Jack Smith.
The personal attorney who has been ordered to testify is Evan Corcoran.
The federal judge who has ordered Corcoran to testify is Judge Beryl Howell of the District Court for the District of Columbia. Howell is an appointee of former President Barack Obama.
Corcoran has already testified before the grand jury in the matter.
But, Corcoran refused to respond to several questions on the grounds that the information is protected by the attorney-client privilege, which prohibits the government from compelling the disclosure of certain communications between an attorney and his or her client.
There are exceptions to the attorney-client privilege, though. And, according to CNN, "Howell said in an order under seal that Justice Department prosecutors have met the threshold for the crime-fraud exception for Corcoran."
Under the crime-fraud exception, a communication between an attorney and his or her client is not protected by the attorney-client privilege if the communication is to assist in the commission of a crime or fraud.
It is unclear what exact information prosecutors are looking to get from Corcoran. But, the Examiner reports, "Corcoran's new testimony is expected to touch on the lead-up to the FBI raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida last August, which Corcoran refused to talk about in January."
It is expected that Trump and his legal team are going to appeal Howell's order.
A Trump spokesperson, in fact, has argued that Howell's ruling is a "violation of due process.
The spokesperson said:
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.
This all comes after the DOJ issued numerous subpoenas to Trump associates.
The Examiner separately reports:
At least two dozen people connected to Donald Trump, including staff members at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, were subpoenaed to testify about the former president's handling of classified documents, a report published Thursday said.