John Rowley, James Trusty, and Lindsey Halligan met with special counsel Jack Smith and federal prosecutors at the Justice Department at 10 a.m. Monday, according to two sources.
The encounter occurred weeks after Trump’s lawyers requested a meeting with top federal law enforcement officers. After two hours at the Main Justice building, the former president’s counsel left without remark.
Trump’s legal team entered the Justice Department on CBS News cameras. The former president’s lawyers were silent as they entered the Washington building. A person familiar with the meeting between the three attorneys and the department said Attorney General Merrick Garland did not attend.
Two people familiar with the probe said that Trump’s legal team is frustrated with how Justice Department officials have handled attorney-client matters in recent months and would likely raise their concerns during Monday’s meeting, particularly prosecutors’ discussions of related issues in front of the grand jury.
Trump's lawyers are meeting with officials at the DOJ, sources say. They had sought the meeting to discuss the special counsel. https://t.co/6PDvv22GuJ
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) June 5, 2023
A federal court ordered Trump’s counsel to testify before a Washington, D.C., grand jury examining the former president’s retention of sensitive documents earlier this year.
Evan Corcoran previously declined to answer investigators’ inquiries regarding his conversations with Trump, citing attorney-client privilege. Last week, a source told CBS News that special counsel prosecutors wanted to question Corcoran about an alleged call with Trump on June 24, 2022, when investigators requested records at Trump’s residence and Mar-a-Lago video surveillance footage.
The special counsel’s team requested D.C. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell to reject Corcoran’s claims of privilege and force him to testify against his client, Trump, because the attorney-client contacts could have furthered criminal activity. According to sources, Howell’s secret ruling partially accepted that request and applied the “crime-fraud exception” to Corcoran’s testimony on a narrow set of issues.
An appellate court upheld Howell’s ruling on Corcoran’s testimony. Howell was replaced as chief judge on the D.C. federal court by Judge James Boasberg, who earlier this year ordered former Vice President Mike Pence to testify before a grand jury in the special counsel’s second investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
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After documents with classified markings from his White House tenure were found at Trump’s Florida property, Mar-a-Lago, in August 2022, special counsel Jack Smith began investigating the former president. According to various sources, prosecutors also investigate if the recordings were obstructed.
Several sources with knowledge of the investigation believe that a charging decision in the case of the document is imminent. Trump lawyers were expected to meet with the Justice Department recently to discuss where things stand and their concerns about the prosecutors’ efforts.
According to reports, grand jury testimony has slowed in recent weeks, suggesting the inquiry may end. In secret proceedings in Washington, D.C., former White House staffers and Mar-a-Lago employees, including security officials and valets, have testified.
The special counsel has proof that Trump’s crew moved boxes the day before the FBI and a federal prosecutor visited Mar-a-Lago in June 2022, a source told CBS News, according to The Washington Post.
Mood tonight at Mar-a-Lago pic.twitter.com/dzZ6EHxHWS
— Charlie Sykes (@SykesCharlie) June 6, 2023
In May, Trump lawyers Rowley and Trusty wrote that their client was being handled “unfairly” and sought to “discuss the ongoing injustice that is being perpetrated by your Special Counsel and his prosecutors.”