Mar-A-Lago search reveals a screw-up by same Trump lawyer who repped Bannon at recent trial: legal experts
Donald Trump (AFP)

The FBI raid of Mar-A-Lago puts a big target on the back of one of Donald Trump's attorneys, according to legal experts.

According to three sources, Trump defense attorney Evan Corcoran -- who also represented Steve Bannon at his trial for contempt of Congress -- had been handling negotiations with the Department of Justice about the location of classified and sensitive material the former president took home with him from the White House, and experts agreed the search reveals a breakdown in those negotiations, reported The Daily Beast.

“It's not unusual for DOJ to try to reach out and get as much dialogue as possible,” said Miami attorney Kendall Coffey, a former U.S. attorney. “But if DOJ has at some level decided there is going to be a search, they are not going to tell the attorney for the subject of the search.”

“A search warrant — while you are in discussions — signals significant adversity,” Coffey added. “Prosecutors can be cordial and polite, even when they're planning to indict your client.”

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One attorney briefed on the discussions said Corcoran had been in talks with the Justice Department for at least two months before FBI agents executed the search warrant, and attorney Alan Dershowitz said Corcoran and other Trump lawyers had failed their client so far.

“That’s what the Justice Department will use it for: to get rid of a lawyer, to create distrust between a client and their lawyer,” said Dershowitz, who served on Trump’s defense team during his first impeachment trial.

“He has to be very aggressive, and he has to go to court, and he has to not trust negotiations with the Justice Department," Dershowitz added. "He has to seek injunctions. He has to seek to have a special master appointed to look at the docs. There should have been a lawyer in front of a judge at 10 a.m. yesterday.”

Experts say the move shows investigators felt the discussions weren't going anywhere or even feared evidence would be destroyed, and John W. Carlin, who oversaw the National Archives during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, said the Justice Department was right to make an aggressive move.

“I would be shocked if they were nonconsequential classified records," Carlin said. "There’s a reason why those boxes were taken. We’re talking about national security, we’re talking about protecting records that should not be routinely available to the public -- period. Classified records are very strictly managed. As archivist, even I couldn’t just walk in and see classified records at a spur-of-the-moment."

“Just because you sit behind the [Resolute] desk doesn't mean you can casually have classified records sitting around the Oval Office. That's just not the way they’re handled,” he added. “Casually taking two or three boxes from the White House with no permission … there’s no way that’s right."

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