Donald Trump’s main lawyer involved in turning over classified-marked documents at the Mar-a-Lago resort to the justice department last year must provide additional testimony in the criminal investigation, a top federal judge ruled on Friday, overriding his objections of attorney-client privilege protections.
The ruling marks a major moment in the investigation into Trump’s unauthorized retention of national security materials and obstruction of justice that could open up new avenues of information to the special counsel overseeing the matter.
In a sealed ruling, the chief US judge for the District of Columbia, Beryl Howell, found that the justice department had shown sufficient prima facie evidence that the legal advice Trump’s lawyer Evan Corcoran gave to the former president could have been used in furtherance of a crime.
The ruling that allows the justice department to pierce the privilege with the so-called crime fraud exception, confirmed by a source familiar with the matter, could make Corcoran one of the most crucial witnesses in the investigation.
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