According to sources who have described the contents of the filing, a former top federal judge reportedly wrote on Friday in a sealed document that prosecutors in the office of the special counsel 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.
U.S. Judge Beryl Howell, wrote last week that prosecutors in the office of special counsel Jack Smith had made a prima facie showing that the former president had committed criminal violations.
Howell reportedly stepped down as the chief judge of the D.C. district court on Friday.
According to the sources, this meant that attorney-client privileges that were invoked by two of the former president’s lawyers could be pierced.
Howell reportedly stated that Evan Corcoran, an attorney for Trump, should cooperate with a grand jury subpoena for testimony on six distinct lines of inquiry into which he had previously invoked attorney-client privilege in her brief that was sealed.
Howell’s filing was kept confidential.
According to several sources, Howell also ordered Corcoran to hand up a number of records that are connected to what Howell referred to as Trump’s alleged criminal plot.
This description is apparently in line with what prosecutors have also been saying.
These materials include transcribed versions of personal audio recordings as well as handwritten notes and invoices.
Howell acknowledged that the prosecution had established a sufficient proof that, on the surface, would appear to indicate that Trump committed crimes in order to meet the so-called prima facie test for piercing Corcoran’s privilege.
The judge made it quite plain that prosecutors would still need to reach a higher level of proof in order to file charges against Trump, and much more evidence would be necessary in order to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
According to sources contacted for the report, Howell came to the conclusion that the prosecution presented adequate evidence that Trump actively withheld the existence of further secret materials from Corcoran.
This left Corcoran in a situation where she may unknowingly lie the government.
Trump is widely expected to soon be indicted for an entirely separate alleged crime by far-left Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg.