According to CBS News, attorneys representing former President Donald Trump, namely John Rowley, James Trusty, and Lindsey Halligan, were spotted at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., on Monday morning. This meeting came after Trump’s legal team had requested a meeting with top federal law enforcement officials. Although Attorney General Merrick Garland did not attend the meeting, Trump’s lawyers stayed for nearly two hours to discuss their concerns.
One particular point of frustration for Trump’s legal team has been the handling of attorney-client matters by Justice Department officials in recent months. They intended to address this issue during the meeting, specifically referencing prosecutors’ discussions of related issues in front of the grand jury.
Earlier this year, a federal judge ruled that Trump’s attorney, Evan Corcoran, must testify before a federal grand jury investigating the former president’s retention of documents with classified markings. Corcoran had previously refused to answer questions about his conversations with Trump, citing attorney-client privilege. The special counsel’s team sought to question Corcoran about an alleged call he had with Trump during a period when investigators were seeking documents at Trump’s home and Mar-a-Lago.
The special counsel’s office asked the court to reject Corcoran’s claims of privilege and compel him to testify, arguing that the attorney-client communications may have been used to facilitate criminal activity. The request was only partially granted, with the judge ruling that the “crime-fraud exception” applied to specific questions in Corcoran’s testimony.
Trump’s appeal to halt Corcoran’s testimony was also rejected by an appeals court, upholding the judge’s ruling. Notably, Judge Beryl Howell, who made the initial ruling, was replaced as chief judge by Judge James Boasberg. Boasberg had previously ruled that former Vice President Mike Pence must testify before a grand jury in the special counsel’s second investigation related to efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The special counsel, Jack Smith, has been investigating Trump based on classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago in August 2022. Prosecutors are also examining potential obstruction of attempts to recover these records. Sources close to the investigation suggest that a charging decision in the documents case is imminent, leading Trump’s lawyers to meet with the Justice Department to discuss the current state of affairs and express their concerns about the prosecutors’ efforts.