Special counsel: Donald Trump 'deliberately misled' lawyers about classified document stash

Special counsel: Donald Trump 'deliberately misled' lawyers about classified document stash
Image via Creative Commons.

Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith reportedly has claimed in sealed court filing to have obtained evidence that former President Donald Trump misled his own attorneys in the classified documents probe, reported ABC News on Tuesday.

"Prosecutors in the special counsel's office have presented compelling preliminary evidence that former President Donald Trump knowingly and deliberately misled his own attorneys about his retention of classified materials after leaving office, a former top federal judge wrote Friday in a sealed filing, according to sources who described its contents to ABC News," reported Katherine Faulders, Alexander Mallin, and Lucien Bruggeman. "U.S. Judge Beryl Howell, who on Friday stepped down as the D.C. district court's chief judge, wrote last week that prosecutors in special counsel Jack Smith's office had made a 'prima facie showing that the former president had committed criminal violations,' according to the sources, and that attorney-client privileges invoked by two of his lawyers could therefore be pierced."

"In her sealed filing, Howell ordered that Evan Corcoran, an attorney for Trump, should comply with a grand jury subpoena for testimony on six separate lines of inquiry over which he had previously asserted attorney-client privilege," said the report. "Sources added that Howell also ordered Corcoran to hand over a number of records tied to what Howell described as Trump's alleged 'criminal scheme,' echoing prosecutors. Those records include handwritten notes, invoices, and transcriptions of personal audio recordings."

According to the report, Trump continues to vehemently deny any wrongdoing in this case.

"Shame on Fake News ABC for broadcasting ILLEGALLY LEAKED false allegations from a Never Trump, now former chief judge, against the Trump legal team," one Trump spokesperson responded when reporters reached out on the matter.

The classified documents case, which exploded into public consciousness after the FBI executed a search at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in South Florida and carted off hundreds of classified documents, was subsequently turned over to Smith, who is also investigating the plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election by Trump's allies.

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