| 6 December 2023, Wednesday |

Attorney for former President Trump appears before grand jury

Donald Trump’s lawyer, Evan Corcoran, testified in front of a federal grand jury on Friday about the former president’s retention of classified documents after he left the White House in January 2021.

Corcoran and his attorney, Michael Levy, went to the third floor of the federal courthouse in Washington, where the grand jury usually meets.

The Justice Department’s investigation into whether Trump improperly took classified documents as he left office, as well as his attempts to overturn his 2020 election defeat, which he falsely claims was the result of widespread fraud, is being led by Special Counsel Jack Smith.

That is one of a series of investigations, also including a Georgia probe into his attempt to overturn his election defeat and a New York inquiry into whether he illegally paid hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels, which swirl around Trump as he seeks the Republican nomination to run for president again in 2024.

Corcoran’s appearance comes just two days after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a sealed ruling which appeared to compel him to comply with a lower court order to testify and provide records as part of Smith’s investigation.

U.S. media outlets including ABC News previously reported that Smith’s office was seeking court approval to compel Corcoran’s testimony, citing evidence that Trump intentionally mislead his attorneys about his retention of classified materials at his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort.

Corcoran sought to block enforcement of the subpoena, citing attorney-client privilege.

ABC reported a federal judge ruled that Smith’s team had made a sufficient showing that Trump may have deceived his attorneys in furtherance of a crime and determined that attorney-client privilege could not be used to shield Corcoran from complying with the grand jury subpoena.

Corcoran and Christina Bobb, another attorney representing Trump, were both involved in talks with the Justice Department last year in the lead-up to the FBI’s Aug. 8 search of Trump’s Florida property.

In May 2022, Trump received a grand jury subpoena ordering him to turn over any records with classified markings, and officials from the Justice Department and FBI met with Trump’s attorneys in June to enforce the subpoena.

At that June meeting, they handed over a single envelope containing 38 documents with classified markings.

In a certification drafted by Corcoran and signed by Bobb, they attested they had thoroughly searched the premises and found no other records bearing classification markings.

That claim later proved to be false, after the FBI discovered about 100 additional classified records among some 13,000 government documents in its Aug. 8 search.

  • Reuters