Prosecutors have presented compelling preliminary evidence that former President Donald Trump knowingly misled his own attorneys about keeping classified documents after leaving office, a former top federal judge wrote Friday.
U.S. Judge Beryl Howell wrote prosecutors in special counsel Jack Smith’s office had made a “prima facie showing that the former president had committed criminal violations”. Trump was denied any wrongdoing in the matter.
ABC News was the first to report the story.
Howell ordered that Evan Corcoran, an attorney for Trump, hand over a number of records linked to what she called Trump’s alleged “criminal scheme”. The records included handwritten notes, invoices, and transcriptions of audio recordings.
“It is a lower hurdle, but it is an indication that the government had presented some evidence and allegation that they had evidence that met the elements of a crime,” Brandon Van Grack, a former top national security official told ABC News.
Prior to the story breaking, a Trump campaign spokesperson released a statement to slam the network for airing what it claims is “illegally leaked” information and denied the story altogether.
“Shame on Fake News ABC for broadcasting ILLEGALLY LEAKED false allegations from a Never Trump, now former chief judge, against the Trump legal team,” the statement read. “The real story here, that Fake News ABC SHOULD be reporting on, is that prosecutors only attack lawyers when they have no case whatsoever.”
The news comes amid reports of an impending indictment coming as early as Wednesday morning for Trump’s role in a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
In posts on his social media site, Truth Social, Trump called himself the “leading Republican candidate and former president of the United States will be arrested on Tuesday of next week” – but he stopped short of going into detail as to why he expects to be arrested. FWRD AXIS News reported Friday that law enforcement officials at the local, state, and federal levels are preparing for the possibility that former president will be indicted in New York next week once final interviews are conducted.
Trump also called on his supporters to protest, echoing calls from January 6, writing, “Protest, take our nation back.”