After being compelled to testify before a grand jury looking into the potential misuse of secret documents at the former president’s Florida residence, Donald Trump’s attorney returned to court on Friday.
One week after a federal judge ruled in favor of the Justice Department, requiring M. Evan Corcoran to answer further questions before a grand jury hearing testimony for months, Corcoran appeared in federal court in the District of Columbia early on Friday morning. As he approached the structure, he remained silent.
The department’s objective has not changed, as evidenced by the prosecutors’ interest in Corcoran’s testimony, highlighting Trump’s legal risk.
Because he wrote a letter submitted to the department in June 2017 and claimed that a “diligent search” for classified documents had been done in response to a subpoena, Corcoran is critical to the inquiry. The return of around thirty papers with classified markings accompanied the letter.
But, prosecutors said in court documents that they had gathered proof that other secret documents were still there at home. On August 8, the FBI returned with a search warrant and took out about 100 more classified materials, according to the records.
Traditionally, the attorney-client privilege protects lawyers from being required to divulge specifics of their interactions with prosecutors. In an earlier appearance before the grand jury, Corcoran claimed that right when he objected to being questioned.
The crime-fraud exemption allows prosecutors to circumvent this rule and will enable them to show a judge that a client used such legal representation to further a crime.
The Justice Department argued so in this case. Last week, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell issued a secret order requiring Corcoran to appear before the grand jury again and respond to further questions.
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In a Friday interview with The Associated Press, Timothy Parlatore, a different Trump attorney, confirmed that he had voluntarily testified before the grand jury for roughly six or seven hours in December to address inquiries about the Trump campaign’s adherence to the department’s efforts to reclaim the classified documents.