A federal judge ruled Friday that an attorney for ex-president Donald Trump must testify before a grand jury as part of the ongoing investigation of the former president’s handling of classified material he took with and stored at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
According to CNN, District Judge Beryl Howell determined that Justice Department prosecutors met the standard for the crime-fraud exception that allows the DOJ to pierce attorney-client privilege, meaning that Evan Corcoran must appear before a grand jury.
Corcoran, an attorney-turned-witness, had previously testified to the grand jury but declined to answer some questions, citing attorney-client privilege. The department argued to the judge he should not be able to avoid answering, because his discussions with the former president may have been part of an attempt to plan a crime.
Howell’s ruling is one of her last on sealed grand jury disputes as chief judge. The Obama appointee has repeatedly green-lit Justice Department requests to pursue information about Trump’s actions during her tenure as chief of the DC District Court, but she rotates out of the administrative role on Friday.
Judge Howell’s decision is the latest legal setback for the twice-impeached former president as part of the ongoing investigation being conducted by DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith, with CNN adding: