The FBI has just raided Trump’s residence again, minutes by order of the Supreme Court. But Trump has gone into hiding.
In May of last year, soon after the Justice Department gave a summons to former President Donald Trump for all ordered reports at his blemish a logo home, Trump’s then lead lawyer regarding the situation, Evan Corcoran, cautioned the former president face to face at blemish Al Lago. He warned that not only did Trump have to completely conform to the summons, but also that the FBI could search the estate if he didn’t. According to Corcoran’s sound notes following the discussion, just minutes afterward during a poolside visit away from Trump, Corcoran got his own admonition from another Trump lawyer. In the event that you push Trump to consent to the summons, he’s about to fly off the handle. Corcoran recalled Corran’s memories caught in a progression of voice reminders he made on his telephone the following day to assist with enlightening Trump’s supposed efforts to challenge a federal grand jury summons and seem to reveal more insight into his mood when he purportedly sent off what examiners say was a criminal trick to conceal classified records from both the FBI and Corcoran, his own lawyer.
Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him and has denied any wrongdoing. The accounts, which have turned into a critical piece of evidence in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s classified records case against Trump, contain information that was subsequently depicted in Smith’s publicly released indictment and in media reports. However, many subtleties in them have never been disclosed. ABC News has reviewed a copy of records of the accounts, which appear to show the manner in which Trump allegedly misled his own lawyer and how classified reports, according to examiners, ended up at blemish a logo.
Trump campaign representative Steven Chung, responding to the developments, told ABC News, “The legal right to privacy is one of the most established and most fundamental principles in our overall set of laws, and its basic role is to promote Law and Order. Whether lawyers’ notes are detailed has no effect. These notes reflect the legal conclusions and considerations of the attorney, not the client.” Chung added that Trump offered full cooperation with the DOJ and told the key DOJ official face to face, “Anything you want from us, just let us know.”
A representative for the Special Counsel’s office declined to comment to ABC News. Corcoran didn’t immediately return ABC News’ request for comment.
When Corcoran joined Trump’s legal team in April last year, the FBI had already launched a criminal investigation concerning Trump’s treatment of classified information. Almost 200 classified records had been found in 15 boxes that Trump reluctantly returned to public records following years of requests, as the indictment stated. However, Justice Department authorities believed Trump was holding onto many more classified records in other boxes at blemish Al Lago and refusing to return them. So, on May 11th, 2022, the Justice Department issued a federal grand jury summons, demanding the return of all classified reports.
Corcoran and another Trump lawyer, Jennifer Little, traveled to Florida to meet with Trump. The next step was to talk with the former president about consenting to that summons. Corcoran recalled in a voice reminder the following day, but while sitting together in Trump’s office before a Norman Rockwell-style painting portraying Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, and Trump playing poker, Trump, as per Corcoran’s notes, wanted to discuss something different first. He was overall unreasonably designated, as Corcoran later recalled in his accounts. Trump continually strayed to topics irrelevant to the summons, including Hillary Clinton, the extraordinary things he’s done for the country, and his significant lead in the polls and the approach to the 2024 conservative official primary race that Trump would officially participate in November.
However, Corcoran and Little continued returning to the boxes, as per the records. Corcoran maintained that Trump should understand they were there to talk about answering the summons. “It’s basically impossible that he will consent to anything,” Corcoran said in the notices, and that he planned to reject that there were any more boxes whatsoever. Corcoran recalled in his accounts in the indictment, examiners assert Trump accomplished something very much like that.
The prosecution describes how before the May 23rd meeting with Corcoran at blemish Al Lago, Trump approved a plan for Corcoran to return to blemish a logo two weeks later to search for any classified reports. According to the prosecution, Corcoran made it clear to Trump that he would conduct that search in a cellar storage room. Corcoran’s accounts suggest he was told by others that the only location at blemish Al Lago that contained classified reports was the cellar storage room. “I have boxes in my storm cellar that I truly wouldn’t believe you should go through,” Corcoran recalled Trump telling him.
Sources told ABC News that while addressing agents, Corcoran figured out that he checked with many people about where classified records could be found, and everyone, including Trump, made the impression that any classified reports would be in the boxes in the storage room. Over the next 14 days, before Corcoran returned to blemish Al Lago to search for classified reports in the storage room, Trump’s two co-defendants in the records case, blemish Al Lago staff members Walt NAA and Carlos De Oliva, allegedly removed many boxes from the storage room, all at Trump’s direction, and with the objective that many boxes were not searched, and many records responsive to the May 11th summons couldn’t be found, according to the prosecution.
Corcoran eventually found 38 classified reports in the boxes that remained in the storage room, and he turned them over to the FBI, along with a certificate allegedly signed by Trump that the former president had now fully complied with the summons. But when FBI agents searched blemish a logo three months later, they found 102 additional classified records in Trump’s office and elsewhere, despite Corcoran’s advance notice to him a month earlier, as per the accounts, that the FBI could show up at blemish Al Lago if he didn’t fully comply with the summons.
Trump called the FBI move a stunning break-in with no way to justify it in posts on his virtual entertainment stage, according to the indictment. Trump intentionally deceived the FBI and his own lawyer, giving only a fraction of the reports called for by the grand jury summons while claiming that he was fully cooperating. The records of Corcoran’s accounts also seem to offer new insight into how classified reports ended up in boxes at blemish Al Lago in the first place and whether Trump actually believed those records had been declassified.
As Trump described it to Corcoran, he had a routine while still in the White House. He would bring paper articles, photographs, and notes to his room so he could review them. He would also bring classified documents, according to Corcoran. “That is the only time I could understand something, and I needed to understand them so I could be prepared for assemblies or meetings the next day,” Trump told Corcoran, as per Corcoran’s accounts. In their meetings, Trump
insisted to Corcoran that he explained to everyone around him that anything that comes into the home should be declassified. The record reads, “I don’t know what was done.” Corcoran recalled Trump telling him, “I don’t know how they were stamped. But that was my position.”
These remarks from Trump, as recalled by Corcoran, suggest that Trump figured out that, in spite of subsequent public claims going against the norm, classified archives were not declassified simply by bringing them to the home. Regarding how classified reports ended up in boxes, Trump had a lot of boxes in his room, and when he was finished reading a newspaper article or a classified document, he’d throw them into one of the boxes, according to Corcoran. So when it came time for Trump to leave the White House in January 2021, many of those boxes from the room ended up at blemish Al Lago in the storage room.
Corcoran provided Special Counsel Smith’s team with his accounts, as recently revealed by ABC News. The now-former chief judge of the federal court in Washington ordered him to do so, finding that Smith’s office had made a prima facie showing that the former president had committed criminal violations by intentionally misleading his lawyers about his treatment of classified materials, sources familiar with the matter said. At that point, because of that legal battle, Corcoran recused himself from continuing to represent Trump in the records case. Yet when Trump was summoned in Washington on federal charges accusing him of trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election, Corcoran went to the meeting and sat in the court behind Trump.