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Former President Trump’s Indictment Reveals Damning Evidence Provided by His Own Lawyer

The indictment against former President Donald J. Trump unveils crucial evidence derived from his personal lawyer, M. Evan Corcoran. This unexpected turn of events positions Corcoran as a potential key witness in the upcoming trial.

The indictment of former President Donald J. Trump has taken an intriguing twist as it becomes evident that critical evidence against him stems from one of his own lawyers. M. Evan Corcoran, who was hired to represent the former president following a Justice Department subpoena for classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, has emerged as a potential key witness in the upcoming trial.

President Trump The federal indictment, spanning 49 pages, accuses Trump of retaining classified documents after leaving the White House and orchestrating efforts to impede the government’s retrieval of these materials. Interestingly, some of the most incriminating evidence was gleaned from notes taken by his attorney, M. Evan Corcoran.

These notes initially recorded on an iPhone and subsequently transcribed on paper, effectively provided prosecutors with a roadmap to construct their case. As stated in the indictment, President Trump exerted pressure on Corcoran to impede investigators in their efforts to recover a substantial quantity of classified material. He even suggested that it might be advantageous to deceive the investigators and withhold the documents altogether.

Earlier this year, despite President Trump’s objections, the special counsel overseeing the investigation, Jack Smith, obtained these notes through an invocation of the crime-fraud exception. This exception allows prosecutors to circumvent the typical protections of attorney-client privilege if there are suspicions that the client used legal advice to further a criminal act.

Judge Beryl A. Howell, who was the chief judge of the Federal District Court in Washington at the time, approved the Justice Department’s request, which proved pivotal to the shape and outcome of the investigation.

The legal fate of Donald Trump now hangs in the balance, with the testimony and evidence from two of his paid defenders potentially playing a crucial role. M. Evan Corcoran, who remains a member of Trump’s legal team, and Michael D. Cohen, a former lawyer for Trump who has assisted New York prosecutors in a case related to hush money payments made before the 2016 election, could determine the outcome of the trials. Cohen previously pleaded guilty to federal charges, including one related to campaign finance violations in 2018, whereas Corcoran has not been implicated in any wrongdoing.

The intricate involvement of these lawyers in the two cases highlights the perils of President Trump’s tendency to perceive lawyers as attack dogs or political bosses rather than ethical advocates bound by professional rules.

Now in his late 70s, Trump is still in search of attorneys akin to his former mentor, Roy M. Cohn, who first mentored, protected, and, as Trump himself claimed, “brutalized” him.

On Tuesday, Trump’s presence is slated in a federal court located in Miami.

When the unsealed indictment was revealed, it became abundantly clear that the notes taken by Corcoran, identified as “Trump Attorney 1,” were far more extensive and damaging than previously known.

In one instance, Corcoran quotes Trump as asking, “What happens if we just don’t respond at all or don’t play ball with them? This statement pertains to officials from the government who are attempting to enforce a subpoena that requires the documents to be returned.

The notes cited in the indictment underscore the extent to which the charges were built upon evidence from President Trump’s inner circle. Alongside Corcoran’s notes, prosecutors also relied on text messages from President Trump employees and a recording made by an aide. Phones were seized, and documents were subpoenaed from a broad group of his advisers.

For years, testimonies from individuals close to Trump have significantly shaped investigators’ understanding of various inquiries

In the case in New York, which revolves around hush-money payments made to a porn star, charges were partially based on testimony provided by Michael Cohen. Records and testimonies reveal that Cohen made payments to Stormy Daniels and was subsequently reimbursed by Trump over time. Cohen now stands as the prosecution’s primary witness.

Nevertheless, as Corcoran’s testimony and notes gained significance in the case of the document, President Trump made it clear that he continued to perceive his lawyers as exempt from legal scrutiny in some way.

After Judge Howell’s decision in March, President Trump voiced his perspective to Newsmax, expressing, “I used to hold attorneys in high regard, believing that they held an esteemed status in life, untouchable by subpoenas or demands for testimony. They were not meant to be summoned like witnesses in a case.” He further lamented the situation where Corcoran was obliged to testify in the investigation of the documents, stating, “Treating attorneys as if they were witnesses was never the intention.

Corcoran, recommended for the team by Trump’s legal adviser Boris Epshteyn, could potentially serve as a critical witness should the case proceed to trial.

The ongoing investigation by the special counsel into President Trump’s attempts to retain power after the 2020 election has involved testimonies from key advisers to the former president. Similar inquiries have been conducted by the House select committee.

President Trump has long been discontented with lawyers or advisers taking notes in his presence. However, it was reported by The New York Times that Corcoran’s notes were extensive, dictated into the Voice Memos app on his iPhone after a meeting with Trump regarding the May 2022 subpoena demanding the return of any classified documents still in Trump’s possession at Mar-a-Lago.

In her memorandum of law, elucidating her ruling that Corcoran must provide testimony in the investigation of the documents, Judge Howell noted that prosecutors presented compelling evidence that Trump had misled his lawyer. Trump left Corcoran with a limited view of where the remaining boxes of documents were stored, misleading him intentionally.

According to an individual familiar with the contents of the 86-page memorandum, the judge stated that the government has effectively proven all three components of an obstruction statute. They presented evidence showing that the former president purposefully hid additional documents containing classification markings from Corcoran, fully aware that this deceit would lead Corcoran to unintentionally provide false information to the government.

At one point, according to the notes, President Trump expressed concern about Corcoran sifting through the materials in the boxes he had taken from the White House, despite having enlisted Corcoran specifically to handle the Justice Department’s efforts to recover any material Trump may still have possessed.

“I don’t want anybody looking through my boxes, I really don’t,” the notes quote President Trump as saying. “I would prefer if you refrain from inspecting the contents of my boxes.”

One of the most damning sections of the notes describes how Trump made a “plucking motion” after placing approximately 40 secret documents in a folder in preparation for handing them over to federal prosecutors in compliance with a subpoena demanding the return of all classified documents in his possession. Corcoran’s notes suggest that Trump implied Corcoran should take the folder to his hotel room and remove any highly incriminating material.

Another revealing exchange between Trump and Corcoran involved President Trump expressing admiration for an unnamed lawyer representing Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state. Trump claimed that the lawyer had taken responsibility for deleting emails from Clinton’s private server, an issue that prompted an FBI investigation into her handling of government material.

“He was great, he did a great job,” President Trump remarked, according to Corcoran’s retelling in the indictment. He explicitly claimed that it was he who took responsibility for it. That he was the one who The attorney took it upon himself to delete all 30,000 of her emails, which primarily consisted of scheduling, gym routines, and beauty appointments. His actions were commendable, ensuring that she faced no consequences as he claimed responsibility for the deletion.

Apart from potentially serving as evidence during the trial, Corcoran’s detailed accounts of how Trump tried to avoid returning any classified material could prove useful to prosecutors during the pretrial period. Trump’s lawyers are likely to file motions seeking dismissal of the case on various grounds, including selective prosecution, arguing that Trump has been unfairly charged while figures like Clinton faced investigations for handling classified information but were never indicted. Corcoran’s meticulous descriptions of how Trump obstructed the government’s investigation could serve as compelling evidence and distinguish his case from Clinton’s.

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