Trump allegedly concealed classified documents: prosecutors present evidence

Trump allegedly concealed classified documents: prosecutors present evidence

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Judge orders compliance with subpoenas and release of records in Jack Smith classified documents investigation

Trump’s potential criminal offenses

Prosecutors for former President Donald Trump’s Office of Special Counsel presented preliminary evidence that Trump may have knowingly and deliberately misled his lawyers about his retention of classified documents after leaving office, according to sources who described its contents to ABC News.

US Judge Beryl Howell, who resigned as DC District Court Chief Judge, wrote that prosecutors had established “prima facie that the former president committed criminal offences”, the sources said. Trump has denied any wrongdoing in his handling of classified documents.


In his sealed filing, Howell ordered Evan Corcoran, a lawyer for Trump, to comply with a grand jury subpoena to testify on six separate lines of inquiry on which he had previously asserted attorney-client privilege. In addition to the testimony, she also ordered Corcoran to turn over a number of documents associated with the alleged “criminal scheme”, including handwritten notes, invoices and transcripts of personal audio recordings.

Judge Howell concluded that prosecutors had shown “sufficient” evidence that Trump had “intentionally concealed” the existence of additional classified documents of Corcoran, sources said, putting Corcoran in an unwitting position to mislead the government.

Ongoing legal vulnerabilities

The developments described by the sources illustrate another dimension of the the former president’s continuing legal vulnerabilities. As Special Advisor Jack Smith’s The investigation into the classified documents continues, New York prosecutors are considering a separate indictment against Trump for silent payments he allegedly made to an adult movie star before the 2016 presidential election. Trump also faces intense scrutiny in Georgia for its efforts to overturn the results of the state’s 2020 presidential election.

At the heart of Smith’s efforts in the investigation of the classified documents is to determine whether the lawyers who represented the former president falsely certified in response to a grand jury subpoena whether Trump had returned all classified documents to the government or whether Trump himself was seeking to conceal documents he may have illegally retained.

Federal prosecutors claimed that Trump’s lawyers certified in June 2022 that a “diligent search” of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Estate only resulted in the storage of 38 classified documents in a secure storage room. When FBI agents raided the premises two months later, they found more than 100 additional documents marked classified – some of which were outside the storage room, including in Trump’s office.

Lawyers should appeal

In his order last Friday, Howell was very vocal in his criticism of Trump’s actions since early last year in response to the government’s attempts to retrieve all classified documents taken from the White House. Sources said prosecutors sought to question Corcoran about how he helped another Trump lawyer draft a June 2022 statement to the Justice Department, which Bobb eventually signed.