Donald Trump Lawyer Notes Could Be Key In Documents Probe – Notes belonging to Donald Trump’s attorney Evan Corcoran could offer a key piece of evidence in the probe of former President Donald Trump’s retention of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence.
What We Know: Donald Trump and Those Notes
Corcoran began working with Trump in May 2022 after the former president received a Justice Department subpoena requesting that classified documents in his possession be returned. The notes also discuss Corcoran’s search of a storeroom at Mar-a-Lago for classified documents in June 2022.
Normally, prosecutors do not have access to a lawyer’s notes due to attorney-client privilege; however, prosecutors won a court order in March to pierce that privilege alleging that it was being used to cover-up criminal activity.
Trump spokesman Stephen Cheung accused the Justice Department of violating the former president’s basic rights, noting “the attorney-client privilege is one of the oldest and most fundamental principles in our legal system.”
Donald Trump Questioned Whether He Had to Comply With Subpoena
The notes, as obtained by The New York Times, show that Trump questioned Corcoran whether he had to comply with the Justice Department subpoena. Corcoran told him he did. Trump’s defenders noted that from their view the former president was asking his lawyer how to proceed.
“When we left Washington, we had the boxes lined up on the sidewalk outside for everybody. People are taking pictures of them. Everybody knew we were taking those boxes. And the GSA, the Government Service, the GSA was the one taking them. They brought them down to Mar-a-Lago,” Trump said at the town hall.
“We were negotiating with NARA. All of a sudden, they raid our house. When Biden has his documents, he won’t give back the 1,850 boxes. And you’re going to find some real gems in there.”
Special Prosecutor Zeros in On Moving of Documents
Special Prosecutor Jack Smith has focused on the role played by Trump valet Walt Nauta, who helped move boxes around Mar-a-Lago and on Carlos Deoliveira, a maintenance worker who helped him with the boxes.
Nauta unlocked the storeroom containing the documents and provided Corcoran with tape to seal the classified documents he found.
Corcoran testified before the grand jury investigating the retention of the documents and that he had been obstructed in his ability to search for the classified papers either by the president personally or by his staff.
The FBI found classified documents in the ex-president’s desk drawer.
“Prosecutors in addition have gathered evidence indicating that Trump at times kept classified documents in his office in a place where they were visible and sometimes showed them to others, these people said,” The Washington Post reported last month. “Taken together, the new details of the classified-documents investigation suggest a greater breadth and specificity to the instances of possible obstruction found by the FBI and Justice Department than have been previously reported.”
Notes Reference DoJ Meeting
The notes also mention Corcoran’s meeting together with fellow Trump attorney Christina Bobb with Justice Department counterespionage chief Jay Bratt at Mar-a-Lago on June 3, 2022.
A memo written by Judge Beryl Howell, the federal judge overseeing the Trump document case, demanding he testifies before the grand jury called Corcoran a victim of Trump’s months of gamesmanship and hiding the ball from Justice Department officials.
Leading analysts believe that Trump likely will be charged with obstruction of justice and other crimes linked to his year-and-a-half effort to stonewall the return of key documents to the National Archives.
“The authors have decades of experience as federal prosecutors and defense lawyers, as well as other legal expertise. Based upon this experience and the analysis that follows, we conclude that Trump should–and likely will–be charged,” a report compiled for Just Security concludes.
They also assert that adequate evidence exists to convict the former president.
John Rossomando was a senior analyst for Defense Policy and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.