A Justice Department prosecutor is asking a federal judge to force a lawyer for former President Donald Trump to give additional testimony to a grand jury investigating how scores of documents with classification markings wound up at Trump’s Florida home. Special counsel Jack Smith is trying to defeat attorney-client privilege claims from Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran by arguing that the privilege has been voided because Corcoran was being used to carry out a crime or fraud.
A former federal prosecutor, Corcoran was involved in delivering some of the documents with classification markings in response to a grand jury subpoena last year; and also helped prepare a declaration attesting that all responsive records had been provided. The search found about 100 documents with classification markings that prosecutors contend should have been returned to the National Archives.
Under court rules, Smith’s motion to compel Corcoran’s testimony would be heard by the chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Washington, Beryl Howell, an appointee of former President Barack Obama. Howell is set to turn over the chief judge’s post next month to a colleague, James Boasberg, also an Obama appointee. Attorney General Merrick Garland named Smith as a special counsel in November, assigning him to take over the ongoing investigation into the sensitive documents at Trump’s home, as well as separate probes into efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
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