Mr. Evan Corcoran entered federal court in the District of Columbia early Friday morning, a week after a federal judge ruled in favor of the Department of Justice by forcing Corcoran to answer additional questions before a grand jury that has been hearing testimony for months. He made no comment upon arriving at the building.
Prosecutors’ interest in Corcoran’s testimony highlights the legal peril Trump faces, clarify the ministry’s ongoing direction on whether Trump obstructed government efforts to recover hundreds of classified documents taken from the White House to Mar-a-Lago at the end of his term.
A search warrant affidavit issued last August showed that investigators were looking at potential violations of several crimes, including obstruction and willful withholding of national defense information.
Corcoran is relevant to the investigation because he wrote a letter which was handed over to the department last June claiming that a “diligent search” of classified documents had been carried out in response to a subpoena. The letter was accompanied by the return of approximately three dozen documents with classified marks.
But prosecutors said in court filings they had developed evidence showing other classified documents remained at the property. The FBI returned with a search warrant on August 8 and removed about 100 additional classified documents, according to filings.
Attorney-client privilege traditionally protects lawyers from having to share details of their conversations with prosecutors. Corcoran claimed this privilege in an earlier grand jury appearance when he refused to answer certain questions.
But prosecutors can circumvent this if they can convince a judge that a client was using such legal representation in the prosecution of a crime – a principle known under the law as the criminal fraud exception.
The Justice Department made that argument in the case and obtained a sealed order last week from U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell that required Corcoran to reappear before the grand jury to answer additional questions.
Another Trump attorney, Timothy Parlatore, confirmed in an Associated Press interview on Friday that he voluntarily testified for about six or seven hours before the grand jury in December to answer questions about team compliance. Trump to the department’s efforts to retrieve the classified documents. His appearance was reported earlier by ABC News.
The Mar-a-Lago investigation is being conducted by a special counsel from the Department of Justice, Jack Smith, which also examines attempts by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Trump faces a separate investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office – in silent payments during the 2016 campaign – which seems to be about to end, as well as an investigation in Atlanta in efforts to reverse Trump’s election defeat in Georgia.