Trump's Appeal Fails in Criminal Probe of a Classified Records
Former President Donald Trump has lost an appeal in the criminal investigation of classified records he stored at his Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago. The decision is likely to compel one of his lawyers to testify to a federal grand jury in the criminal probe. The appeal followed a judge's ruling in Washington, D.C. that the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) special counsel, Jack Smith, had presented enough evidence to establish that Trump committed a crime through his attorneys. This ruling was made despite the usual attorney-client privilege that protects their communications.Judge Beryl Howell
invoked the crime fraud exception to the privilege and ordered Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran to answer questions before the grand jury. According to a docket entry in a sealed appeals court case that is widely believed to involve former President Trump, the appeals court has reportedly denied Trump's request and instructed all parties involved to adhere to the ruling issued by Judge Howell.The DOJ has been investigating Trump since last year for removing hundreds of government documents, many of which were classified, and keeping them at Mar-a-Lago. Upon leaving their post,
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it is a legal requirement for presidents to relinquish any relevant documents and records as mandated by law. Smith, who was appointed to oversee the probe, is also investigating whether Trump and others obstructed justice by thwarting efforts by federal officials to recover those records in the months leading up to last August’s FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago.This ruling marks a significant setback for Trump as it further embroils him in legal trouble and raises the possibility of a criminal indictment. The former president has consistently denied any wrongdoing and has dismissed
the investigations against him as politically motivated. However, legal experts say that this latest ruling could pave the way for more legal action against Trump and his associates.It remains to be seen how Trump and his legal team will respond to this latest setback. With the appeals court rejecting his bid, it is likely that he will have to comply with the grand jury's requests or risk facing further legal consequences. This development also highlights the ongoing legal challenges faced by former presidents and the importance of transparency in government record-keeping.