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 March 22, 2023

Prosecutors allege Donald Trump lied to his own legal team about classified documents

Prosecutors claim former President Donald Trump lied to his own legal team about the existence of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home, the Daily Wire reported. This means Trump's lawyers could be forced to set aside attorney-client privilege and testify against him.

Special Counsel Jack Smith is currently investigating claims that Trump intentionally concealed the fact that he kept classified documents at his home. In June 2022, government agents recovered materials, and his legal team certified all of it was handed over at that time.

However, the FBI raided the former president's Florida residence to allegedly recover an additional trove of classified documents. Now prosecutors in Smith's office allege that Trump lied to his legal team about the documents, including attorney Evan Corcoran.

U.S. Judge Beryl Howell claimed that government attorneys made a "prima facie showing that the former president had committed criminal violations" that would negate attorney-client privilege for two of Trump's attorneys. Howell said Corcoran must comply with a grand jury subpoena to testify and turn over records related to the alleged "criminal scheme."

This information was leaked from a sealed filing from last week. It came the same day she stepped down as the chief justice for the D.C. district court on Friday.

The former president was incensed about this leak that was disseminated thanks to an ABC News report Tuesday. "Shame on Fake News ABC for broadcasting ILLEGALLY LEAKED false allegations from a Never Trump, now former chief judge, against the Trump legal team," a spokesperson for Trump told the news outlet.

"The real story here, that Fake News ABC SHOULD be reporting on, is that prosecutors only attack lawyers when they have no case whatsoever." After this initial report, a stay was issued on Howell's order.

However, by Wednesday, a three-judge panel had confirmed that Trump's attorney must comply with the original subpoena, though it did not name Corcoran, which will likely go on to a full appeal, CBS News reported. The grand jury proceedings remain sealed, but some believe this is a step closer to an indictment.

Prosecutors had called Corcoran to testify before, but the question now becomes whether he was included in concealing documents. This all comes at a time when Trump faces other criminal prosecutions.

The former president is being investigated in New York for the $130,000 allegedly paid as "hush money" on his behalf to former porn star Stormy Daniels. There's also a probe into his alleged scheme to illegally obtain additional votes to win Georgia in the 2020 presidential election.

Trump is also part of a federal investigation for allegedly attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election. He has invoked executive privilege over former Vice President Mike Pence, who is also fighting that subpoena.

"I believe that the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution, and expressing what is known as the Speech and Debate Clause, is an enormously important element of the Constitution," Pence said. At the time of the incursion at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Pence was in charge of Congress as it certified the electoral vote.

"We were going to make sure we make our case to the appropriate courts, and maybe the highest court in the land, but I think defending that principle of separation of powers is enormously important. We'll let the courts sort that out. And at the end, we'll certainly obey the law," he added.

Whether Corcoran or anyone else will implicate Trump in anything remains unknown. What is crystal clear from all of these proceedings is that there is a concerted effort to make sure Trump is not a viable 2024 presidential candidate -- and they'll stop at nothing to make sure of it.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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