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Donald Trump on Friday signaled a likely appeal of a federal judge's order forcing one of his attorneys to provide additional testimony before a federal grand jury investigating Trump's retention of classified documents after leaving office two years ago.
“Every American has the right to consult with counsel and have candid discussions — this promotes adherence to the law,” Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung said. “We will fight the Department of Justice on this front and all others that jeopardize fundamental American rights and values.”
The former president's response came quickly after CNN first disclosed that U.S. District Beryl Howell had ruled that Trump attorney Evan Corcoran must answer additional questions because the legal communications may have been related to criminal conduct. Corcoran had cited attorney-client privilege during a previous appearance before the panel,
Under the so-called “crime-fraud exception,” the privilege would not shield the attorney from testifying about communications with a client.
Corcoran was central to Trump's legal team at the time the Justice Department sought the return of a trove of classified documents that the former president had transferred to his Florida estate after leaving the White House.
The attorney drafted a statement that was later provided to federal authorities in June indicating that a “diligent” search had yielded no more classified records.
Two months later, an FBI search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, resulted in the seizure of another cache of classified records.
Corcoran did not immediately respond to inquiries.
Howell's ruling was part of a sealed proceeding in the document inquiry led by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith.
“Interfering with Americans’ right to an attorney is a serious and weighty matter,” the Trump spokesperson said Friday, describing the judge's action “un-American and unacceptable.”