Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran recuses himself from classified documents case

April 16, 2023
Robert Ayers

The Washington Post reports that one of former President Donald Trump's top lawyers just recused himself from the classified documents case. 

Per the Post: 

One of former president Donald Trump’s top lawyers on the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case is no longer working on the matter after he appeared before a federal grand jury last month, according to people familiar with the move.

That lawyer is Evan Corcoran.

He will still be representing Trump in other matters.


The classified documents case referred to above is the same case that culminated in the unprecedented FBI raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in August.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has appointed special counsel Jack Smith to continue investigating the matter of whether Trump improperly took classified documents when he left office and improperly obstructed attempts by the government to recover them.

For months now, the battle between the DOJ and Trump - regarding the classified documents incident - has been playing out in court. As part of this battle, the DOJ won the right to question Corcoran.

Previously, Corcoran and Trump tried to prevent this by arguing that Corcoran's communications about the matter with Trump were protected by the attorney-client privilege. But, the judge ruled that, in this case, an exception to the privilege applied.

The DOJ had sought Corcoran's testimony because he was a key player, on Trump's side, regarding the classified documents situation. It remains unclear what exactly Corcoran has told the DOJ during his testimony.

Statement from Trump's legal team

Corcoran, himself, has not provided a statement on the matter of his recusal.

Trump spokesman Steven Cheung, though, has put out a statement seemingly disputing the recusal, saying, "these unnamed sources have no idea what’s actually going on and are peddling disinformation."

Another Trump lawyer - Tim Parlatore - has also put out a statement. Parlatore said:

The legal team handling all matters involving the special counsel — myself, James Trusty, John Rowley, Lindsey Halligan, and Evan Corcoran is intact and we continue to work closely with Evan as we do with the entire team to protect our client.

The Post reports, "Corcoran’s recusal may be temporary, as the witness advocate rule does not become mandatory until the case goes to trial, according to a person familiar with the matter."

The "witness advocate rule" is a rule of legal ethics that, with some exceptions, prohibits an attorney from representing an individual in a matter when that attorney, himself, is likely to be called as a necessary witness in the case.

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