Little-Known Lawyer, a Trump Ally, Draws Scrutiny in Georgia

The U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, on March 8, 2023. (Hailey Sadler/The New York Times)

The U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, on March 8, 2023. (Hailey Sadler/The New York Times)

ATLANTA — At a Georgia state Senate hearing a few weeks after President Donald Trump lost his bid for reelection, Rudy Giuliani began making outlandish claims. “There are 10 ways to demonstrate that this election was stolen, that the votes were phony, that there were a lot of them — dead people, felons, phony ballots,” he told the assembled legislators.

After Giuliani’s testimony, a like-minded Georgia lawyer named Robert Cheeley presented video clips of election workers handling ballots at State Farm Arena in downtown Atlanta. Cheeley spent 15 minutes laying out specious assertions that the workers were double- and triple-counting votes, saying their actions “should shock the conscience of every red blooded Georgian” and likening what he said had happened to the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

His comments mostly flew under the radar at the time, overshadowed by the election fraud claims made by Giuliani, who was then Trump’s personal lawyer, and by other higher-profile figures. But Cheeley’s testimony did not end up in the dustbin. He was among witnesses questioned last year by a special grand jury in Atlanta that investigated election interference by Trump and his allies, the grand jury’s forewoman, Emily Kohrs, said in an interview last month.

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The fact that Cheeley was called to appear before the special grand jury adds to the evidence that although the Atlanta investigation has focused on Trump’s biggest areas of legal exposure — calls he made to pressure local officials and his involvement in a scheme to draft bogus presidential electors — false claims made by his allies at legislative hearings have also been of significant interest. Giuliani has been told that

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Prosecutors seek to question Trump lawyer before grand jury in classified papers case | Donald Trump

Federal prosecutors involved in the criminal investigation of Donald Trump’s retention of classified documents argued to a US judge on Thursday that one of the former US president’s lawyers should answer more questions before a grand jury over objections of attorney-client privilege.

US prosecutors have been seeking to invoke the so-called crime-fraud exception that allows them to compel testimony about communications between an attorney and a client when they have evidence to suggest legal advice was used in furtherance of a crime.

In the sealed hearing before the chief US district judge for the District of Columbia Beryl Howell, prosecutors argued that they had reason to believe that legal advice to Trump from his lawyer Evan Corcoran was used by Trump to obstruct the classified-marked documents investigation.

The development is the latest incident in the ongoing saga around Trump’s retention of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago Florida resort related to his time as president. The papers were discovered after an FBI search of the property amid accusations that Trump was seeking to obstruct an investigation into how and why the documents ended up there.

Subsequent investigations have also turned up documents at properties linked to Trump’s vice-president, Mike Pence, and the Democratic president Joe Biden, relating to his time as vice-president to Barack Obama.

The prosecutors in Trump’s case broadly cited to Howell the same evidence it included in the affidavit used to obtain the warrant to search Mar-a-Lago, sources familiar with the matter said, which alleged potential retention of national security material and obstruction of justice.

Howell did not rule on Thursday on whether to grant the justice department’s motion to compel testimony from Corcoran, the sources said, after Corcoran previously appeared before the grand jury and declined to answer some questions on the basis of

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Trump’s troubles worsened: 6 legal landmines facing the ex-president

NEW YORK — Donald Trump’s myriad of legal problems have intensified after a whirlwind week of lawsuits and court decisions that went against the embattled former president — including a civil suit filed by the New York attorney general that partially seeks to prohibit him or his adult children from ever running a company in their home state again.

It was just one of several new setbacks for Trump, as the probe into his handling of classified documents continues and unsealed court papers revealing that a writer already suing him for defamation plans to file a second lawsuit alleging he raped her, under a historic new law passed by New York legislators.

The new week only promises to bring more troubles for Trump. The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection of the US Capitol indicated the final televised hearing set for Wednesday will be an explosive event featuring new witness testimony.

Here’s an update on the biggest legal threats facing Teflon Don in state, federal, and congressional investigations.

DOJ probe of missing White House records

Attorney General Merrick Garland’s investigators continue to investigate Trump’s handling of highly sensitive classified documents in a probe that could result in a federal indictment.

Trump scored a point when Judge Aileen Cannon tasked a well-respected Brooklyn judge with examining more than 10,000 hidden documents as a special master in the DOJ probe. He lost one when an unimpressed Judge Raymond Dearie put his lawyers on the hook by forcing them to take a position on whether he declassified documents and detail his unfounded claim the FBI planted evidence.

“My view is you can’t have your cake and eat it,” Dearie told Trump’s lawyers when they appeared before him on Wednesday.

In another blow, the 11th Circuit ruling that gave the Justice Department

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For Trump’s Lawyers, Legal Exposure Comes With the Job

A dark joke has begun circulating among lawyers following the many legal travails of former President Donald Trump: MAGA actually stands for “making attorneys get attorneys.”

Over six years and nine major investigations by Congress, the Justice Department and local prosecutors, as Trump has managed to avoid removal from the presidency and indictment, it has become clear that serving as one of his lawyers is a remarkably risky job — and one that can involve considerable legal exposure. Time after time, his attorneys have been asked to testify as witnesses to potential crimes — or evaluated as possible criminal conspirators themselves.

While the consequences his lawyers faced were extraordinary when Trump was in the White House, the dangers have only intensified since he left office and have become increasing acute in recent weeks, as the former president has come under scrutiny in two different Justice Department investigations and has been forced yet again to find lawyers willing to represent him.

Last week, a Justice Department filing revealed that Trump’s lawyers had misled federal investigators about whether he had handed over to the Justice Department all the classified documents he took from the White House when he left office. That raised questions about whether the lawyers, M. Evan Corcoran and Christina Bobb, could be prosecuted themselves and might ultimately be forced to become witnesses against their client. (Bobb recently retained a lawyer, according to a person familiar with the situation.)

The revelation capped a summer in which a team of lawyers that had been advising Trump as he tried to overturn the 2020 election faced a range of repercussions across the country from federal investigators, local prosecutors, state bar associations and government accountability groups.

One of Trump’s highest-profile lawyers, Rudy Giuliani, was named as a target in a state criminal investigation

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For Trump’s Lawyers, Legal Exposure Comes With the Job

A dark joke has begun circulating among lawyers following the many legal travails of former President Donald Trump: MAGA actually stands for “making attorneys get attorneys.”

Over six years and nine major investigations by Congress, the Justice Department and local prosecutors, as Trump has managed to avoid removal from the presidency and indictment, it has become clear that serving as one of his lawyers is a remarkably risky job — and one that can involve considerable legal exposure. Time after time, his attorneys have been asked to testify as witnesses to potential crimes — or evaluated as possible criminal conspirators themselves.

While the consequences his lawyers faced were extraordinary when Trump was in the White House, the dangers have only intensified since he left office and have become increasing acute in recent weeks, as the former president has come under scrutiny in two different Justice Department investigations and has been forced yet again to find lawyers willing to represent him.

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Last week, a Justice Department filing revealed that Trump’s lawyers had misled federal investigators about whether he had handed over to the Justice Department all the classified documents he took from the White House when he left office. That raised questions about whether the lawyers, M. Evan Corcoran and Christina Bobb, could be prosecuted themselves and might ultimately be forced to become witnesses against their client. (Bobb recently retained a lawyer, according to a person familiar with the situation.)

The revelation capped a summer in which a team of lawyers that had been advising Trump as he tried to overturn the 2020 election faced a range of repercussions across the country from federal investigators, local prosecutors, state bar associations and government accountability groups.

One of Trump’s highest-profile lawyers, Rudy

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Judge to consider unsealing Trump search affidavit as legal worries mount | Donald Trump

A federal judge in Florida will hear arguments on Thursday over whether to make public an affidavit used to justify a search of Donald Trump’s Florida estate, as broadening legal disputes on multiple fronts intensify against the former president and his allies.

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In a 13-page filing on Monday, the justice department objected to efforts to unseal the document, arguing that doing so would “jeopardize the integrity of this national security investigation” into Trump’s handling of some of the government’s most closely held records after leaving the White House. The prosecutors said that the affidavit that gave the FBI probable cause to search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort contained sensitive information about witnesses who are key and acknowledged that its investigation involved “highly classified material”.

Bruce Reinhart, the federal magistrate judge who signed off on the search warrant, will decide whether to publish the affidavit, which would provide more details about the investigation and the FBI’s search of Trump’s private residence. Trump and his allies, including some members of Congress, have also pushed for the release of the affidavit.

But the prosecutors said the affidavit should not be unsealed because that could reveal the scope of the investigation into Trump’s unauthorized retention of classified White House records.

“The affidavit would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation, providing specific details about its direction and likely course,” prosecutors wrote. They also argued that releasing the document could compromise the continuing investigation.

“Disclosure of the government’s affidavit at this stage would also likely chill future cooperation by witnesses whose assistance may be sought as this investigation progresses, as well as in other high-profile investigations,” prosecutors added.

Last week, Reinhart agreed to unseal the search warrant and a list of items

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Legal sector gains 34,700 jobs in a year; judge unseals Trump search warrant

News Roundup

Weekly Briefs: Legal sector gains 34,700 jobs in a year; judge unseals Trump search warrant

job market

Image from Shutterstock.

Legal sector adds 3,000 jobs or more, 3 months in a row

The legal services sector added 3,100 jobs in July following a June gain of 3,300 jobs and a May gain of 3,000 jobs, according to seasonally adjusted, preliminary figures released Aug. 5 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The July number is a gain of 34,700 jobs from July 2021. The legal sector had 1,188,700 jobs in July, 1,185,600 jobs in June, 1,182,300 jobs in May, and 1,179,300 jobs in April, according to new and previously released figures. The jobs number is based on payroll jobs for attorneys and staff members working at firms providing legal services. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics news release and legal services table)

Judge unseals Trump search warrant; top secret documents

US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart of Florida has unsealed the warrant for the FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida, and a receipt showing the property taken during the search. The warrant authorizes a search of all the rooms in the 58-bedroom, 33-bathroom mansion accessible to Trump and his staff members where boxes of documents could be stored. Among the documents hidden were “Miscellaneous Top Secret Documents” and “Info Re: President of France.” US Attorney General Merrick Garland had announced Thursday that the Department of Justice was seeking to unseal the documents. Trump’s lawyers did not object to the release. Garland did not seek a release of the search warrant affidavit, but some news organizations have asked Reinhart to do so. Trump has claimed

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