National Security

Trump fights claims he misled attorney as court weighs effort to force testimony

Former President Trump railed against reports he misled the attorney representing him in the Mar-a-Lago probe as a court set a series of overnight deadlines in a battle to determine whether the attorney must testify in the investigation.

ABC News reported Tuesday that D.C. District Court Judge Beryl Howell found sufficient evidence that Trump may have intentionally concealed the existence of additional classified records held at his Florida home from his attorney Evan Corcoran. 

Howell, in a sealed ruling that served as her final order before stepping down as chief judge, ordered Corcoran to testify in the probe, determining that the Justice Department had presented sufficient evidence that his legal advice may have been in furtherance of a crime — igniting the crime fraud exception that allows the piercing of attorney-client privilege. 

An appeal now rests before a three-judge panel at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which late Tuesday set a series of rapid-fire deadlines on the matter. The Trump team was required to submit a brief at midnight, with the Justice Department’s response due by 6 a.m. Wednesday. 

Trump late Tuesday attacked the article without addressing the specifics of ABC’s story. 

“Shame on Fake News ABC for broadcasting ILLEGALLY LEAKED false allegations from a Never Trump, now former chief judge, against the Trump legal team,” the Trump campaign said in a statement that went on to bash the Mueller report.

According to ABC, Howell ordered Corcoran to testify on several lines of inquiry where he refused to answer questions from prosecutors before a grand jury, citing attorney-client privilege. She also ordered him to turn over handwritten notes, invoices and transcripts of audio recordings.

Corcoran’s testimony could be key for the investigation led by special counsel Jack Smith. It was Corcoran who, in June 2022, turned over 38 additional records to prosecutors after the Justice Department issued a subpoena for any remaining documents bearing classified markings. He also reportedly drafted a statement saying all classified records had been returned but turned the certification over to another attorney to sign.

In an August search, authorities would find another 100 classified records on the property.

The matter now before the appeals court remains under seal, but a decision could come as soon as Wednesday morning.

Trump is also facing a potential decision from a New York grand jury, which meets again Wednesday and is weighing evidence presented in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s (D) investigation into hush-money payments made shortly before the 2016 presidential election.

Tags Beryl Howell classified documents Donald Trump Mar-a-Lago

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video