The two previous indictments filed against former President Donald J. Trump — one brought by the Manhattan District Attorney and the other by the Justice Department Special Counsel — are for completely different charges. They are prosecuting him, but they have something in common. In part, in the words of his own lawyer.
In a 49-page federal indictment accusing him of holding classified documents after leaving the White House and plotting to thwart government efforts to retrieve them, some of the most potentially weighty evidence is available. Obtained from: A note written by one of the lawyersM. Evan Corcoran.
Corcoran’s memos, first recorded on an iPhone and then transcribed to paper, essentially gave prosecutors a roadmap for proving the case. According to the indictment, Mr. Trump would have been better off pressured Mr. Corcoran to prevent investigators from recovering a slew of classified documents, lied to them and withheld the documents altogether. even suggested.
Earlier this year, despite Trump’s objections, the special counsel overseeing the investigation said: jack smith, obtained the memo through the activation of the Criminal Fraud Exception. This exception is an exception to the law that allows prosecutors to circumvent the usual protections of attorney-client privilege if they have reason to believe and can prove to a judge that their client used legal advice to further the crime. It is a provision.
The ruling, in which Judge Beryl A. Howell, then Chief Justice of the Washington District Court, agreed with the Department of Justice’s request, was crucial to the shape and outcome of the investigation.
Trump’s legal fate may rest on testimony and evidence from Corcoran, who remains a member of his legal team, and two former lawyers who paid for Trump’s former lawyer, Michael D. Cohen. There is He assisted New York prosecutors in a case related to hush money paid by a former president to a porn star before the 2016 election. Cohen pleaded guilty to federal charges, including campaign finance violations, in 2018, but Corcoran has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
Their complicated involvement in the two cases reflects the perils of the former president’s long-standing habit of viewing lawyers as attack dogs, or even political bosses, rather than as code-bound advocates. .
Now in his late 70s, Mr. Trump has identified himself with the man who first guided him, protected him and committed what he called “brutal acts,” the ruthless and ultimately disqualified Roy. I’m still looking for a lawyer like M. Cohn.
Trump is scheduled to appear in federal court in Miami on Tuesday.
when Trump indictment Unsealed on Friday, it suddenly became clear that Corcoran’s memo, purported to be “Trump Lawyer 1,” was far more extensive and far more damaging than previously known. .
“What if we don’t respond at all or play ball with them?” Quoted from a certain point in time.
A memo referenced in the indictment highlights the extent to which the charges were built on evidence from his entourage. In addition to Corcoran’s notes, prosecutors also used text messages from numerous employees and recordings of Corcoran recorded by his aides. Prosecutors seized his cell phone and subpoenaed documents from his extensive group of advisers.
Over the years, the testimony of people around Trump has shaped investigators’ understandings of various investigations.
The New York case centered on hush money payments to porn stars, and the charges were based in part on Cohen’s testimony. Cohen paid a woman, Stormy Daniels, and was paid back by Trump over time, according to records and testimony. He is now the prosecution’s star witness.
But when Mr. Corcoran’s testimony and memo became a key element of the documentary lawsuit, Mr. Trump made it clear that he still believes his lawyers are somehow immune from legal scrutiny.
“I always thought that lawyers had a very high place in life. I thought that when you had a lawyer, you couldn’t summon a lawyer, and you couldn’t summon a lawyer to talk to you.” Trump told Newsmax in March. Judge Howell’s verdict. Corcoran complained about how he was forced to testify in a documentary investigation, saying, “They bring in lawyers as if they were witnesses in a case. It wasn’t supposed to be.”
Corcoran, who was recommended to the team by Trump’s legal adviser Boris Epstein, could be a key witness if the case goes to trial.
The special counsel’s ongoing investigation into Trump’s efforts to cling to power after losing the 2020 election will include testimony from key advisers to the former president, as well as the House Select Committee’s investigation into the matter. include.
Mr. Trump has long complained about lawyers and other advisers taking notes in front of him. However, the New York Times reported that Corcoran’s memos were voluminous and that after meeting with Trump over a subpoena issued in May 2022, Corcoran’s return of classified documents he still had in March It was reported that it was dictated to the iPhone’s voice memo application in search of. -a-lago.
In a memorandum outlining the ruling that Mr Corcoran was required to testify in a documentary investigation, Judge Howell said prosecutors said Mr Corcoran was misunderstood by his client, who left his attorney with a “blind” view. He wrote that he presented convincing evidence. About where the boxes with the remaining documents were kept.
“The government alleged that the former president deliberately concealed the existence of additional confidentially marked documents from Corcoran, knowing that such deception would cause Corcoran to unknowingly provide false representations. By presenting evidence, he fully proved all the ‘three elements’ of one of the laws of obstruction.” .
At one point, Trump sorted through a box of materials he took out of the White House, even though Corcoran specifically invited Corcoran to deal with the Justice Department’s efforts, according to the memo. expressed concern about it. Retrieve all materials Trump may still have.
The memo quoted Mr Trump as saying, “I don’t want anyone to look in my box. I really hate it.” “I don’t want you to look into my box.”
In one of the memo’s most infamous passages, Corcoran describes how Trump conducted the “requisition call” after foldering about 40 classified documents in preparation for handing over to federal prosecutors pursuant to a subpoena. Taka is explained. He demanded the return of all classified documents in Trump’s possession.
In the memo, Corcoran said the gesture wasn’t suggesting Trump “take a folder into your hotel room and if there’s something really bad in it, go ahead and pull it out.” said he thought.
In another revealing exchange about what Trump wants his lawyers to know about what the former president expects of him, Trump praised former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s anonymous lawyer. rice field. Trump claims his attorney was responsible for deleting the emails from her private server, a matter that sparked an FBI investigation into her handling of government materials.
“He was great and did a great job,” Trump said, according to Corcoran’s testimony in the indictment. “He said it was him. It was he who deleted all her emails, 30,000 emails, because those emails were basically her schedule, her gym “Because he was going in and dealing with beauty appointments, and he was great, and he said he was the one who deleted it, so she didn’t cause any trouble.”
Corcoran’s memo not only serves as potential evidence against a jury, but it will help prosecutors during what is sure to be a controversial pretrial period, with motions from Trump’s attorneys to dismiss the case for a variety of reasons. there is a possibility.
One such move to dismiss is the so-called selective prosecution motion, which alleges that Trump was wrongfully indicted when someone like Clinton, for example, was also investigated for handling classified information but was not indicted. may become.
Corcoran’s detailed account of how Trump sought to avoid the return of classified materials could be strong evidence that he obstructed government investigations, thus framing his case and Clinton. incidents.