Donald Trump suffered a pair of major legal setbacks on Friday with the latest being outgoing Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell turning over notes belonging to one of the former president's lawyers to the Department of Justice.
Before stepping down on Friday, Howell ruled that attorney M. Evan Corcoran can be questioned by investigators, despite attorney/client privilege, and then ruled on the notes which the Daily Beast's Jose Pagliery called a "parting gift" to special counsel Jack Smith who is investigating Trump on multiple fronts.
According to the Daily Beast report, those notes could give the DOJ a leg up on seeking an indictment against the former president in their investigation into the sensitive government documents Trump was hoarding at his Mar-a-Lago resort that could lead to charges of obstruction of justice.
Worse still for Trump, Judge Howell skipped a normal step in her ruling.
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"Judges who come to the conclusion that some legally protected and sensitive material must be turned over to an opposing side normally issue an order directing one side to do it, along with a deadline. Doing so gives the losing side the ability to appeal to a higher court—and prevent irreversible damage that could forever taint a case, according to two lawyers not involved in the case who spoke to The Daily Beast but asked not to be identified," the report states before adding, "But Howell appears to have skipped that careful yet tedious approach—and just handed Smith a batch of documents that may show Trump and one of his lawyers planning a crime."
According to attorney David Cross, "She’s taken all the legal relief out of their hands. If she orders them to do it, they can take up an appeal on an emergency basis. She may have been concerned from what she read in the documents. She may have not trusted them to comply with an order.”
You can read more here.