Some legal experts expressed surprise Wednesday after a federal appeals court ruled that an attorney representing Donald Trump in the classified documents case must provide notes, transcripts and other evidence to prosecutors, but the former president should have seen it coming.
That’s according to former FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann, who said that a 2017 ruling involving Trump’s former campaign manager provided a road map to U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell’s Wednesday ruling that Evan Corcoran must provide evidence to prosecutors under the crime-fraud exception.
Howell cited the crime-fraud exception in her 2017 ruling that an attorney representing former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and political consultant Rick Gates was required to testify in the Mueller probe.
Trump’s lawyers had sought to block a federal judge’s order last week ordering Corcoran to turning over evidence to special counsel Jack Smith.
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“I think she must have been feeling very confident that there's just no argument here, that this is either attorney-client privilege, and even if it is that if the crime fraud exception applies, and there's a very simple rule, which is you cannot commit a crime using your lawyer,” Weissman said Wednesday during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House.”
“That does not make something privileged,” Weissman added.
“And so you would think Donald Trump could have looked at what happened with Manafort, seen that the judge ordered the exact same thing and learned his lesson, but apparently he didn’t.”
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