'This is a huge deal': Legal expert explains how judge finally nailed Trump
Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a "Save America" rally at Country Thunder Arizona. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

A legal expert explained why an appeals court ruling forcing Donald Trump's lawyer to turn over evidence is a "huge deal" for prosecutors.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell directed Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran to produce documents in a case involving classified documents stored at Mar-a-Lago, and former federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that was a damaging blow to the ex-president.

"The reporting is that Mr. Corcoran is going to say, 'It wasn't me, I wrote this, but I was told what to put in there by my client,' meaning Donald Trump," Weissmann said. "You're absolutely right. This is a way of getting that direct evidence. How did that certification come about? Yes, it is very unusual for the prosecutors to seek this kind of order from the court. It is not something that has never happened, it happened during the special counsel [Robert] Mueller's investigation with the exact same judge, but it is unusual. In order to make this ruling, the judge has to find that it is likely that Donald Trump committed a crime. It's not necessary that the lawyer did, but at least the client did. The standard is likely. That's exactly what she wrote in the [Paul] Manafort case that I handled."

"So this is a huge deal," he added. "In terms of the case, this really could be the key evidence of obstruction. It also differentiates this case from what we know about the [Mike] Pence case and the [Joe] Biden case. There's absolutely no circumstance where we're thinking there is obstruction and false statements made. This could be a critical difference as to why the Department [of Justice] treats Donald Trump differently than the other two cases."

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