The DC Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by former President Trump to stop his lawyer, Evan Corcoran, from being forced to breach attorney-client privilege and testify before the grand jury against him concerning classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago.
(Video Credit: CNN)
The court is comprised of three Democrats and it was a foregone conclusion that they would rule against Trump. The former president’s attorney will be dragged through the political mud and his testimony will ostensibly be used against Trump regardless of the facts.
Circuit Judges Nina Pillard, J. Michelle Childs, and Florence Pan issued a brief order lifting an administrative stay of a lower court order compelling attorney Evan Corcoran to turn over documents, including recordings, to a grand jury working under the supervision of Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith. Childs and Pan were nominated by President Biden. Pillard was nominated by former President Barack Obama.
The stay would have paused the case for additional appeals or legal proceedings. It is being fast-tracked in an attempt to charge Trump with a crime over the documents while he also faces a looming indictment by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg over trumped-up charges concerning hush money allegedly paid to porn star Stormy Daniels. The subpoena from the Department of Justice’s special counsel will now move forward.
The ruling by the court confirms a prior one from a lower court that was made by District Judge Beryl Howell, another leftist Democrat, who contended that attorney-client privilege could be breached because she believed Corcoran may have helped Trump in the perpetration or concealment of a crime. The DOJ had made that argument in its pleadings. The whole case smacks of leftists railroading Trump.
In apparent victory for special counsel Jack Smith, the DC Circuit has rejected what appears to be the appeal of Judge Howell's order that Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran produce notes of his discussions with Trump re MAL docs. pic.twitter.com/Qg5vRP45Cp
— Charlie Savage (@charlie_savage) March 22, 2023
Known as the “crime-fraud exception” to attorney-client privilege, the exception allows Smith to compel Corcoran to testify and produce documents that would ordinarily be shielded by the privilege, which generally guards communications between an attorney and a client.
CNN reporter Katelyn Polantz stated that Corcoran has been a “pretty central player for a very long time. Including before the FBI search found all of those documents at Mar-a-Lago last year, participating in drafting a statement saying that they had completed searches and turned over all classified records in their possession, which obviously turned out to be incorrect.”
“When you look at this, this is the sort of thing that could make or break a case,” she noted. “Trump still has the opportunity to appeal, but he’s really running out of opportunities here.”
Note that Evan Corcoran isn’t the only Trump attorney scheduled to testify before the Mar-a-Lago documents grand jury this week.
Earlier today, @WSJ reported that Jennifer Little—one of Trump’s attorneys in the Fulton County probe—is also likely to testify this week. https://t.co/LMiUZAhW2X pic.twitter.com/hAaBnuQnBy
— Anna Bower (@AnnaBower) March 22, 2023
The grand jury is seeking to indict Trump on charges that he obstructed a DOJ investigation into whether he unlawfully retained classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago beach club for more than a year after his term as president ended in January 2021.
An unnamed CNN source claims that Trump’s side is unlikely to appeal to the Supreme Court.
A Trump spokesperson said in a statement that “there is no factual or legal basis or substance to any case against President Trump” and that “prosecutors only attack lawyers when they have no case whatsoever.”
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