DOJ Requests Suspension of Attorney-Client Privilege for Trump Lawyer Evan Corcoran
Donald Trump's attorney, Evan Corcoran, recently testified before a federal grand jury in Washington, DC, regarding the mishandling of classified documents at Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence. Now, federal prosecutors are attempting to make Corcoran return and be questioned again, this time without the ability to invoke attorney-client privilege.
Corcoran appeared in front of the grand jury in January and refused to answer certain questions about his involvement in the investigation, invoking attorney-client privilege. The Department of Justice is now asking a court to force him to provide additional testimony, in an effort to overturn the standard attorney-client privilege.
The DOJ is making the request on the basis of the crime-fraud exception, which allows for attorney-client privilege to be suspended if there is reason to believe that legal advice or legal services have been used in furtherance of a crime.
Corcoran is the third Trump lawyer known to have been brought before the grand jury, which is investigating obstruction in addition to criminal violations of government records laws. The other two lawyers, Christina Bobb and Alina Habba, have each made notable appearances defending Trump and the federal documents probe.
Habba, who is not a member of the legal team defending Trump, has appeared before the grand jury in recent weeks. Bobb told federal investigators during an October interview that the letter asserting that Trump’s representatives had complied with a subpoena was actually drafted and prepared by Corcoran and that he had asked her to sign it in her capacity as custodian of the records.
It is still unknown what inquiries Corcoran wanted to avoid responding to by claiming attorney-client privilege or what crime federal prosecutors cited to a judge while hoping to assert the crime-fraud exception. A spokesperson for the justice department and a spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment, while a Trump spokesperson characterized the move as “nothing more than a targeted, politically motivated witch hunt against President Trump.
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1. “DOJ, citing crime-fraud exception, seeks to compel Trump attorney to testify in documents probe: Sources” ABC News, 15 Feb. 2023, https://abcnews.go.com/US/doj-citing-crime-fraud-exception-seeks-compel-trump/story?id=97208666
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