In a sealed filing on Friday, a former top federal judge claimed that the special counsel’s office’s prosecutors had provided “compelling preliminary evidence” that former President Donald Trump had knowingly and purposefully lied to his own attorneys about his retention of classified materials after leaving office, ABC reports.
Attorney-client privileges asserted by two of the former president’s lawyers could therefore be breached, according to a letter written last week by U.S. Judge Beryl Howell, who on Friday stepped down as the chief judge of the D.C. district court. Howell said that prosecutors in special counsel Jack Smith’s office had made a “prima facie showing that the former president had committed criminal violations.”
Howell ordered Trump’s lawyer Evan Corcoran to cooperate with a grand jury subpoena for testimony about six different areas of investigation. She also demanded that Corcoran turn over a variety of documents pertaining to the alleged criminal plan of Trump, such as transcriptions of private audio recordings, invoices, and handwritten notes.
It’s unclear what information Howell may have examined from the DOJ and Trump’s lawyers under secrecy to make her conclusion.