Evan Corcoran, an attorney for former President Trump, was spotted Thursday entering the Washington, D.C., federal courthouse amid several ongoing special counsel investigations.
The hearing likely relates to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s subpoena to former Vice President Mike Pence amid ongoing inquiries into alleged efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
While only in attendance for a private hearing Thursday, Corcoran is expected to testify later this week before the special counsel grand jury that is looking into Trump’s handling of the classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate last year, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Separate from the Jan. 6 probe, a federal judge ruled that Corcoran could provide additional testimony in the probe looking into the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and whether the former president intentionally misled his lawyers about the situation.
Smith’s team filed enough evidence to support allegations Trump may have committed a crime through his attorneys, according to the order.
The ruling from U.S. Judge Beryl Howell, which applied the “crime fraud” exception, allowed prosecutors to bypass protections offered to Corcoran through attorney-client privilege.
Howell — whose role as chief judge expired over the weekend when the rotating position was given to Judge James Boasberg — sided with federal investigators and issued an order last week moving Corcoran to testify in detail about conversations he had with Trump over documents later seized by the FBI at his Mar-A-Lago, Florida, estate last summer.
Following Howell’s initial order, the Washington, D.C., Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay on Tuesday, and both the special counsel and the Trump legal team were asked for responses regarding Corcoran’s testimony. Trump’s legal team submitted filings as required before midnight and DOJ met the 6 a.m. deadline Wednesday.
Before the August FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, Corcoran had claimed in June that Trump’s team had found no more classified material after a “diligent” search of the premises. Hundreds more documents were found at the estate after that statement, according to the Justice Department.
Sources say Corcoran had initially refused to speak with the federal grand jury about several crucial matters. Special Counsel Smith then asked Howell to decide whether the “crime-fraud” exception to attorney-client privilege could compel Corcoran’s further testimony. That testimony exception would apply to alleged conversations related to a possible plan to commit a crime.
“Prosecutors only attack lawyers when they have no case whatsoever,” the Trump campaign said in a statement about the matter, arguing that an ABC News report claiming he “misled his attorneys” was “disinformation.”
“These leaks are happening because there is no factual or legal basis or substance to any case against President Trump,” the campaign added. “The deranged Democrats and their comrades in the mainstream media are corrupting the legal process and weaponizing the justice system in order to manipulate public opinion, because they are clearly losing the political battle.”
The news surrounding the investigation into Trump’s handling of the documents comes as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg weighs a potential indictment of the former president during his third run for the White House over alleged hush money payments.