Outgoing chief judge in Washington DC federal court makes last-minute decision to turn over notes made by Trump “document scandal” lawyer Evan Corcoran to Justice Department
A Washington DC judge who oversees multiple investigations into former US President Donald Trump has resigned from her post and turned over Trump’s lawyer’s notes to the Justice Department.
Beryl Howell wrapped up her seven-year term as chief judge on Friday with the potentially significant move of turning over notes made by Trump’s attorney, Evan Corcoran, to the Department.
the daily beast He called the final blow a “parting gift” for Jack Smith, the special counsel appointed by the Justice Department to investigate both Trump’s handling of the Mar-a-Lago classified documents scandal and his actions on January 6.
An analyst told the outlet that Howell’s move could be because she was extremely concerned about the contents of Corcoran’s notes, or because she was concerned that they would not be provided if requested.
Beryl Howell resigned from her position as chief judge on the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday, at the end of her seven-year term. She remains on the bench, but has now been replaced as head judge.
“She took all the legal relief out of their hands,” said David Cross, an experienced federal litigator with the Washington firm Morrison & Foerster who is not involved in the Trump case.
If she tells them to, they can file an emergency appeal.
Maybe she was worried about what she read in the documents. Maybe she didn’t trust them to carry out an order.
In a separate ruling, Howell ordered Corcoran to testify again before a grand jury on Friday.
He testified in January but is believed to have used the excuse of attorney-client privilege as a reason for not answering many questions.
Howell ruled Friday that the government had reached the threshold for a special provision of the law known as the tort and fraud exception, which allows prosecutors to lift the shield of attorney-client privilege when they have reason to believe that legal advice or legal services have been used to promote a crime.
She will remain on the court, but is no longer the chief judge.
That position is held by James Boasberg, who was also appointed by President Barack Obama.
The chief judge has sole discretion over sealed federal grand jury proceedings.
Evan Corcoran, one of Trump’s lawyers. Howell turned Corcoran’s notes over to the Justice Department on Friday.
In November, Jack Smith was appointed a special prosecutor by the Justice Department and was tasked with investigating Trump’s handling of classified documents and his actions around January 6. You may find the Howell documents extremely useful.
James Boasberg replaces Howell as chief judge of the DC court
That means Boasberg will immediately assume responsibility for handling certain issues that may arise in special counsel investigations involving Trump.
boasberg said nbc news he did not comment on any grand jury proceedings, instead praising his predecessor.
He said the court was fortunate to have had Howell as its leader “during this very tense period.”
He added: “She has led the court in an excellent way through COVID and dislocations, and has also maintained a very cohesive court that is not driven by partisan divisions.”