Special Counsel Urges Judge to Dismiss Trump’s Privilege Assertions in Mar-a-Lago Investigation

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People familiar with the ongoing inquiry into the management of classified documents at Donald Trump’s South Florida residence have reported that a federal judge listened to arguments on Thursday regarding Special Counsel Jack Smith’s efforts to obtain additional grand jury testimony from a lawyer representing Trump.

During a court session held behind closed doors, Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team pressed Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the District Court for the District of Columbia to reject the claims of attorney-client privilege made by Evan Corcoran, an attorney representing former president Trump, during a grand-jury hearing in January.

According to sources, after the hearing, prosecutors requested that Judge Howell use the “crime-fraud exception” to override the privilege claims and require Corcoran to provide additional testimony, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The “crime-fraud exception” is employed in situations where there is a suspicion that legal counsel has been utilized to facilitate criminal activities. The decision to employ this exception implies that Special Counsel Jack Smith and his team suspect that Trump or his associates may have employed the services of Corcoran for such purposes.

Michael Levy, an attorney for Corcoran, and a spokesperson for Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office, declined to provide a comment. On Thursday morning, Corcoran attended the court hearing accompanied by two other lawyers for Trump, James Trusty and John Rowley.

Trusty opted not to comment after the sealed arguments, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

According to an individual familiar with the closed-door hearing, Judge Howell did not make an immediate decision and requested additional briefings. The sources confirmed that lawyers representing Trump, Corcoran, and Smith’s office all made arguments to the judge during the proceeding.

Written by staff