Andrew Weissmann, who assisted in the Mueller probe’s investigation into Donald Trump, said if recent news reports are accurate, the former president committed obstruction of justice.
Weissmann was reacting to a report stating that Trump “knowingly and deliberately” misled his attorneys about the presence of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence. In June 2022, Christina Bobb, an attorney for Trump, signed a letter to the Department of Justice saying that to her knowledge there were no classified documents at the Florida estate.
Another Trump attorney, Evan Corcoran, reportedly requested Bobb sign the letter.
In August, the FBI executed a search warrant at the property, where thousands of government documents were found, hundreds of which were classified. Those documents – classified or not – were supposed to be given to the National Archives when Trump left the White House in January 2021.
ABC News reported that according to an unsealed filing, a federal judge ordered Corcoran to comply with a subpoena issued by Special Counsel Jack Smith. The judge found that though Corcoran represents Trump, “sufficient” evidence exists indicating his legal advice was used to further a crime. In that case, attorney-client privilege would be negated by the crime-fraud exception.
Appearing on Tuesday’s edition of The Last Word, Weissmann told Lawrence O’Donnell that it’s “game over” for Trump if the reporting is accurate.
“What is the import of Evan Corcoran’s testimony, assuming it is going to go forward?” the host asked.
[I]f the reporting is correct that Mr. Corcoran is going to say, “I was the one who was misled by Donald Trump. I put in the certification and I drafted it based on what he told me. I did not know it was false, but it contained false information because that’s what I learned from my client, Donald Trump,” this is basically game over.
That is incredibly strong evidence of obstruction of justice. It is a crime to lie to the government whether you do it directly or whether you do it through your counsel.
Weissmann added that Corcoran may have notes about Trump’s discussions with him.
“It appears he may also have contemporaneous notes,” Weissmann continued. “It is not unusual for a defense lawyer to keep those notes, especially if you are representing somebody like Donald Trump. We know that [former Trump White House Counsel] Don McGahn and people in the White House did exactly that because they knew they needed to have a record with him that they couldn’t later be confronted by saying, ‘That’s not what happened.’ So I would be highly surprised if Mr. Corcoran did not write down exactly what he had been told.”
It should be noted that Trump and Corcoran may appeal the ruling. Corcoran could also comply with the subpoena but invoke his Fifth Amendment right against potential self-incrimination and not answer some or all of the special counsel’s questions.
Watch above via MSNBC.