Happy Crime-Fraud Exception Day, for Those Who Celebrate

Today marks the calendar start of celebration season for Mr. EW and I; all our big dates are squished into a short period that, this year, might well culminate in the first of several indictments for the former President.

For the US political world, though, today marks crime-fraud exception day, the day that at least one of Trump’s attorneys will be obliged to testify about how Trump lied to his lawyers to try to get away with hoarding stolen classified documents.

Because Evan Corcoran (and possibly Georgia attorney Jennifer Little) will testify today, I thought it a good day to update the list of attorneys who were or have been witnesses or who may be subjects in one or more investigations into Trump.

Since the Stormy Daniels payment may lead to Trump’s first indictment, Michael Cohen gets pride of place at number one on this list, a reminder that for seven years, Trump lawyers have been exposing themselves to legal jeopardy to help him cover things up.

The following lawyers have all — at a minimum — appeared in subpoenas pertinent to one or another of the investigations into Donald Trump, and a surprising number have testified before grand juries, including at least three with (Executive Privilege) waivers. To be clear: Many have no legal exposure themselves, but are instead simply witnesses to the efforts made to keep Trump in line before they were replaced with lawyers who were willing to let Trump do whatever he wanted, legal or no. But some of these lawyers have had legal process served against them, and so may themselves be subjects of one or multiple investigations.

  1. Michael Cohen (hush payment): convicted felon whose phones were seized April 9, 2018
  2. Rudolph Giuliani (Ukraine, hush payment, Georgia, coup attempt): phones seized in Ukraine investigation April 28, 2021, received subpoena for billing records in fundraising investigation around December 2022
  3. John Eastman (Georgia, coup attempt): communications deemed crime-fraud excepted March 28, 2022; phone seized June 22, 2022
  4. Boris Epshteyn (stolen documents, coup attempt, Georgia): testified in Georgia grand jury; phone seized in September after which he retroactively claimed to have been doing lawyer stuff
  5. Sidney Powell (fraud, coup attempt, Georgia): Subpoenas sent in fraud investigation starting in September 2021; testified before Georgia grand jury; appeared in November subpoena
  6. Jeffrey Clark (coup attempt): May 26 warrant for cloud accounts and phone seized June 22, 2022
  7. Ken Klukowski (coup attempt): May 26 warrant for cloud accounts
  8. Victoria Toensing (Ukraine, coup attempt): Phone seized in Ukraine investigation April 28, 2021, on June and November subpoenas
  9. Brad Carver (Georgia and fake elector): phone contents seized June 22
  10. Jenna Ellis (coup attempt and Georgia): Rudy’s sidekick, censured by CO Bar for lying serial misrepresentations, on June and November subpoenas
  11. Kenneth Cheesbro (fake elector, Georgia): included in June and November subpoenas
  12. Evan Corcoran (stolen documents): testified before grand jury in January, testifies under crime-fraud exception on March 24
  13. Christina Bobb (coup attempt, Georgia, stolen documents): interviewed in October 2022 and appeared before grand jury in January, belatedly asked for testimony in Georgia
  14. Stefan Passantino (coup attempt obstruction and financial): included in November subpoenas, alleged to have discouraged full testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson
  15. Tim Parlatore (stolen documents): appeared before grand jury in December 2022
  16. Jennifer Little (Georgia and stolen documents): ordered to testify under crime-fraud exception
  17. Alina Habba (stolen documents, NYS tax fraud): testified before grand jury in January
  18. Bruce Marks (coup attempt): included in November subpoena
  19. Cleta Mitchell (coup attempt and Georgia): included in November subpoenas
  20. Joshua Findlay (coup attempt): included in June subpoenas
  21. Kurt Olsen (coup attempt): included in November subpoenas
  22. William Olson (coup attempt): included in November subpoenas
  23. Lin Wood (coup attempt): included in November subpoenas
  24. Alex Cannon (coup attempt, financial, stolen documents)
  25. Eric Herschmann (coup attempt, Georgia, financial, stolen documents)
  26. Justin Clark (coup attempt and financial): included June and November subpoenas
  27. Joe DiGenova (coup attempt): included in June and November subpoenas
  28. Greg Jacob (coup attempt): grand jury appearances, including with Executive Privilege waiver
  29. Pat Cipollone (coup attempt): grand jury appearances in summer and — with Executive Privilege waiver — December 2
  30. Pat Philbin (coup attempt and stolen documents): grand jury appearances in summer and — with Executive Privilege waiver — December 2
  31. Matthew Morgan (coup attempt): included in November subpoenas

Tim Parlatore is the latest addition to this list, based off someone’s decision to reveal Parlatore’s testimony to the stolen documents grand jury in December. As ABC reported, Beryl Howell ordered him to testify after he belatedly revealed that investigators he hired had found four documents with classification marks in a box brought back to Mar-a-Lago after the August 2022 search (he emphasizes that he did so without a subpoena, but this was an effort to stave off a finding of contempt).

The Dec. 22 testimony from attorney Timothy Parlatore was ordered after months of wrangling between Trump’s attorneys and officials in the Justice Department, who had grown increasingly concerned that Trump still continued to hold onto classified documents after more than 100 were discovered in the August 8 search, sources said.

In fact, just days before his testimony, Parlatore revealed to the DOJ and D.C. district court Judge Beryl Howell that a search of Mar-a-Lago conducted by Trump’s legal team on Dec. 15 and 16 had discovered four additional documents with classification markings, according to sources.


While Judge Howell declined to hold Trump or his legal team in contempt at a Dec. 9 hearing, sources said, she did order Parlatore to testify on issues surrounding a signed certification he had provided that outlined the results of his team’s searches of locations where records responsive to the DOJ’s original subpoena could be located.

Howell also suggested at the hearing that Trump’s legal team include Mar-a-Lago in their list of locations to be searched again, despite the FBI’s previous court-authorized search of the property months earlier, sources said.

On Dec. 16, following a two-day search of Mar-a-Lago, Parlatore submitted a revised certification that acknowledged the discovery of the four additional documents in a closet near Trump’s office, sources said.

This explanation makes no mention of the classified folder found — presumably during the same search of Mar-a-Lago done at Howell’s suggestion — in Trump’s bedroom. Parlatore, who was brought in to do searches to give the patina of reliability to the earlier subpoena non-compliance, did not voluntarily hand over that folder; instead, DOJ subpoenaed it. In the wake of disclosures about that, Parlatore went on TV and made the ridiculous claim that the former President has nothing better to use to cover up a light on his bedside phone than random folders that once contained classified records, random folders that were not found during the FBI’s August 8 search.

Nor does this explanation mention the laptop with the documents marked classified (now numbered as four) also turned over.

Perhaps the most important detail this Parlatore-friendly story left out, however, is the way Trump’s team fought unsuccessfully to keep the names of the people who did the searches secret. After Howell ordered them to share those names in January, they testified before the grand jury, after Parlatore had already done so.

In this story, seeded the day before Corcoran testifies before the grand jury, that belatedly reveals Parlatore’s testimony before the grand jury, he makes claims of prosecutorial misconduct.

Parlatore, when reached for comment by ABC News, said, “I voluntarily and happily chose to go into the grand jury so that I could present my client’s case to them in the context of our search efforts. During my testimony, it was clear that the government was not acting appropriately and made several improper attempts to pierce privilege and, in my opinion, made several significant misstatements to the jury which I believe constitutes prosecutorial misconduct.”

Had Parlatore really believed something amounted to prosecutorial misconduct, we would have heard about it in December — though that would have required revealing how documents marked as classified got moved back to Mar-a-Lago after the August search. Had Parlatore really believed something amounted to prosecutorial misconduct, he would have said that on TV instead of sharing his bullshit story about covering up the light on a phone.

He didn’t. He didn’t make this claim until the night before Corcoran is set to testify about the adequacy of Mar-a-Lago searches Corcoran did six months before the one Parlatore did.

In between the time Parlatore testified to the grand jury in December and today, though, Parlatore made this bizarre claim about the possibility that Boris Epshteyn, described here as the gatekeeper between Trump and the lawyers, could be a subject of the investigation. (This story, dated March 14, followed the February 12 bullshit claim about the light by the side of the bed by just over a month.)

Mr. Epshteyn’s legal role with Mr. Trump, while less often focused on gritty legal details, has been to try to serve as a gatekeeper between the lawyers on the front lines and the former president, who is said to sometimes roll his eyes at the frequency of Mr. Epshteyn’s calls but picks up the phone.

“Boris has access to information and a network that is useful to us,” said one of the team’s lawyers, Timothy Parlatore, whom Mr. Epshteyn hired. “It’s good to have someone who’s a lawyer who is also inside the palace gates.”

Mr. Parlatore suggested that he was not worried that Mr. Epshteyn, like a substantial number of other Trump lawyers, had become at least tangentially embroiled in some of the same investigations on which he was helping to defend Mr. Trump.

“Absent any solid indication that Boris is a target here, I don’t think it affects us,” Mr. Parlatore said.

As I’ve noted, DOJ almost certainly believes that Trump still has classified documents. DOJ almost certainly believes that the searches Parlatore did in November and December not only weren’t adequate, but were proven to be inadequate when his investigators found classified documents that had been moved back to Mar-a-Lago after the initial search.

They tried to obtain those documents by holding lawyers who had attested to searches in contempt back in December. Instead, Beryl Howell made them do more investigation first, culminating in what may be the last order she issued as Chief Judge ordering Corcoran to testify.

One possible outcome of today’s testimony is that someone finally gets held in contempt, someone finally risks jail time until such time as an adequate search of all of Trump’s properties is conducted. And that may be why Tim Parlatore chose this moment to announce his inclusion on the ever-growing lists of Trump lawyers who may be witnesses or may be subjects of his investigations.

Update: Going through old posts and thought I’d link this one from August 23, 2022, where I noted that two of Trump’s lawyers were either witnesses or co-conspirators in the stolen document case. It seemed prescient then, but jeebus, the number turns out to be at least 11 by now.

99 replies
  1. phred says:

    Happy Celebration Week, EW! I hope you and the Mr. are able to take some time for merry making : )

    As for the rest of us, we’ll need larger mantles from which to hang all the stockings for the lawyers as we ring in our Crime Fraud holidays ; )

    • emptywheel says:

      TY. We’re going to one of Ireland’s best restaurants tonight, after going to another of Ireland’s best restaurants two weeks ago.

      Then on Monday we’re going to a beer event for one of Ireland’s most interesting craft brewers.

      If there’s an indictment it’ll just be dessert.

        • Peterr says:

          Congrats, indeed! I’ll be raising a glass of some fine Bushmill’s later this evening to you both!

          For those wondering what the appropriate gift is for the happy couple as they celebrate Crime-Fraud Exception Day, may I suggest this?

          • Jane Ward says:

            Peterr, What a wonderful idea! I took your advice and sent a gift via PayPal – it was sooooo easy. I am so grateful for all the incredible, outstanding work that Marcy does, and for how much I have learned reading her posts. And I’m grateful to all who work so hard to make this site as amazing as it is. Finally, thanks to those of you, especially the “OG’s”who provide brilliant comments, independent research, additional links and your own posts.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          39th?!? Now that’s an achievement. We just had our 19th and I thought that was awesome–which for someone on their third try, and first to make it into double digits, it seemed like it was.

      • Alzero1953 says:

        EW, could you name names? We will be in Ireland in a month or two and would like to follow in your footsteps. It’s not Out of the Blue in Dingle, perhaps?

        [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your third user name; you’ve commented previously as “Alzero” and “Alzero53.” Thanks. /~Rayne]

        • emptywheel says:

          We went to Aniar in Galway. Not cheap, but we have lived right in the neighborhood during lockdown and wanted to go.

      • phred says:

        If there’s an indictment, make sure it is your SECOND dessert…

        No point wasting a good dessert opportunity (chocolate mousse and a fine port; lemon tart & shots of extra sharp ginger brandy; …) by settling for a mere indictment ; )

        • LeeNLP941 says:

          It’s wise to save the high caloric desserts for celebratory occasions. I’m in the bad habit of using them to cheer myself up. The odds of constantly eating the wrong foods are thereby pretty high.

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            Not mutually exclusive, LeeNLP! It’s the celebratory occasions when I most feel the need to cheer myself up. Everyday I can handle without dessert. Celebrations make me feel the passage of time so acutely.

  2. Chirrut Imwe says:

    Even though one knows the history, it is still stunning to see such a long, numbered list.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      It’s a testament to how Trump churns lawyers, as if he were a Hollywood casting director staked out at the drugstore soda fountain. Even if he pays up front – a rare feat managed by Kise – it’s never worth staying with him. The odds of being pushed under the bus or into a felony increase daily.

  3. Waban1966 says:

    Wait wait wait. Is this the same Tim Parlatore who represented Edward Gallagher, the former Navy SEAL tried for murder? And who the SEALS wanted to strip of his pin notwithstanding the acquittal, except on one lesser charge)? Who was busy getting Trump to give Gallagher a special deal for Trump (and in fact got special treatment)? And over which the Secretary of the Navy was fired by Mike Esper.

    Yeah, really a good neutral person to do the searches.

  4. Jay Welch says:

    Should Don McGahn be on this list?

    [Moderator’s note: Please find another IP address from which to comment at this site. Thank you. /~Rayne]

  5. Terry Salad says:

    I watched “Judgement at Nuremberg” the other night on Prime. Can we throw them all in the dock and try them at once like that? In the film, one Judge on the Tribunal bets that none of the defendants will be in prison within a decade (they were given life sentences). The film ends by indicating he was correct. Sigh.

  6. jecojeco says:

    Well, this is a real rogues gallery, most picked based on political idealogy over legal competence and it’s finally producing the inevitable results. I think as events unfold, especially as more get drawn into trumps legal wringer, it will become a real challenge for trump to retain competent legal counsel. I think trump really features himself a 21st century Robin Hood or better yet Ned Kelly, going to face down Fitzroy in his homemade suit of armor.

    (I think I’d skip the mashed turnips and go straight to the local beer for celebation purposes!)

  7. Fraud Guy says:

    One gets the feeling that the reason why no one has heard of most of the lawyers who now represet Trump is that the lawyers and lawfirms you would have heard of have seen this list of attorneys and what they have allegedly been involved in and opted out.

  8. P J Evans says:

    I’m seeing a cartoon in this:
    Big banner-sign overhead: DON’S USED LAWYERS
    in small print underneath: Loyalty [teeny print: to me not] guaranteed
    And below the sign, a lot full of desks with people in suits sitting behind them. All the suits look like cartoon used-car dealer outfits.

  9. PJB2point0 says:

    Yesterday, I saw a report that Corcoran was seen at the US District Courthouse in DC where he was presumably arguing in the hearing on Pence’s motion regarding grand jury testimony. If he is a testifying witness today before the documents gj, doesn’t he have an unwaivable conflict? I am missing something.

    • Former AFPD says:

      The conflicts of interest burdening many of the former guy’s attorneys have been the topic of discussion here on many occasions. Several of us wondered why the government hadn’t moved to recuse them due to conflicts of interest. It now appears that the strategy may have been to allow the conflicted lawyers – who should have known better – to continue in their representation of TFG and unwittingly gather evidence at the same time. I’m speculating here. Lawyers who engage in conflicts of interest do so at their own risk. Nothing good comes of it. It often comes back to haunt the lawyer in the litigation, and not in a good way.

      Happy, happy ew and family. Ireland is a special place. I taught a law course at UCC some years ago. Enjoy your celebrations.

      • PJB2point0 says:

        “Lawyers who engage in conflicts of interest do so at their own risk.”

        Look, there are many conflicts that can be waived by a client.
        I don’t believe testifying against a current client is one of them.
        Respectfully, it seems to me there’s more at stake in this instance than the lawyers’ problems with their bar associations and I find it quite difficult to believe that the DOJ would take such a transactional approach. Moreover, one would think that the new Chief Judge at yesterday’s hearing would not have permitted Corcoran to appear on Trump’s behalf knowing he’d be testifying against him 24 hours later. Maybe he was only appearing yesterday to move to withdraw?

        • Peterr says:

          Agreed. The risk when a lawyer has a conflict of interest is primarily to the client, not necessarily the lawyer.

          • Former AFPD says:

            There is certainly reputational damage to being called as a witness and being ordered to testify in criminal grand jury proceedings in which your client is the target.

            • emptywheel says:

              The picture of Corcoran walking out yesterday was pretty similar to the one after Cipollone walked out in December, as if each had been grilled in ways they didn’t imagine they would be.

              Or maybe the realization that they had just helped to send to jail someone they were supposed to be keeping out of jail.

  10. klynn says:

    Happy celebrating of all your special days! Especially your Mr. & Mrs. day! May the noted trips around the Sun for birthdays and anniversaries be filled with good food, good friends and good legal outcomes of indictments based on the list above!

    Thank you for this post and all you do!

    • bmaz says:

      That would be August 17, 2022, not 2020. That hack Willis did not even take office until January 2021, when she promptly started making good on her political promises about prosecutions.

  11. Tom-1812 says:

    OT but in light of the Irish references above, let me say that I highly recommend seeing “The Quiet Girl”. The film brought back many bittersweet memories of the 40 years I spent working with children and families.

  12. Seashell says:

    Happy Celebration Week, EW! And thank you x100 for the list of Crime Fraud layers and the cases they’re attached to.

    Also, ABC just reported on another candidate for Judge Howell’s last order as Chief Judge. This one involves the coup and requires Mark Meadows, Stephen Miller, John Ratcliffe, Dan Scavino, Robert O’Brien, and several others to testify without letting Trump’s claims of executive privilege get in the way.


    • Savage Librarian says:

      On that latest Judge Howell order, these 3 are lawyers who are not (yet) on Marcy’s list:

      Ken Cuccinelli
      Robert O’Brien
      John Ratcliffe

    • FL Resister says:

      Stating the obvious, Trump’s former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is in a world of shit. Wonder when subpoena for Michael Flynn will drop.
      Glad the prosecutors are finally getting to the top.

  13. DrFunguy says:

    Talkin ‘bout that crime fraud exception
    they were practiced at the art of deception and they thought they would steal the election
    but they didn’t see the crime fraud exception coming
    Forget about the happy Trump reception
    They didn’t get to steal the election just yet
    Because The didn’t see that crime fraud exception comin at them
    With the power to prove their deceptions
    Talkin bout a crime fraud exception
    Will earn you a grand jury reception…

    Someone with more talent should write a song about this; crime fraud exception has such a nice ring.

  14. LeeNLP941 says:

    Not to add too much frivvle to the comments, but sometimes I get chills reading this site. “Shuddering before the beautiful” and all that. Many thanks, Dr. Wheeler et al!

  15. Waffleses says:

    Happy happy, and thanks for the gift to us- there’s something kinda magical about seeing it all laid out nice and plain like that:
    hush payment, Ukraine, Georgia, coup attempt, stolen documents, fraud, fake elector, coup attempt obstruction, financial, NYS tax fraud

  16. grasshopper says:

    Can someone say more about how precisely the ‘shell game’ was to work? Is it a common strategy for attempted evasion?

  17. Alan Charbonneau says:

    “…bullshit story about covering up the light on a phone”
    It reminds me of the first Soviet spokesman explaining why foreign governments were not notified immediately about the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident. IIRC, his statement was “it was the weekend and the government was closed”.

    • ernesto1581 says:

      Similarly, SVB went looking for an emergency $20 billion on Friday, March 10th, in the wake of the run that had begun the day before. But they didn’t get in gear until it was nearly 4 PM, by which time the Fed’s computers had gone to sleep for the evening, couldn’t be awakened until Saturday morning, and the fan had spread the shit far and wide.

      More (much) locally, when tropical storm Irene veered off the New England coast and came screaming up Rte. 7 in the the Berkshires and Vermont in 2011, tearing up everything in its path, my little town, Randolph, VT, was unable to immediately respond as it was a Tuesday and Tuesday was the Town Manager’s day off.
      He was subsequently sacked.

      re: birthday greetings — sláinte, go cinnte! and thank you all.
      I begin to feel a little old — I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled, part my hair behind…

      • P J Evans says:

        At previous apt, one manager got tossed because the water heater for one end of the complex died on a long weekend when they went to the mountains with spouse and were unreachable. (Said heater had been unreliable for some time; the pilot routinely blew out on windy nights. Which is a great thing to find out at 5am.)

  18. bgThenNow says:

    Happy Days to you and Mr. EW! Thank you for all your hard work, we celebrate your work every day. I’ve had some trouble with my recurring donation and hope I will be able to figure it out soon. I was trying to increase the donation and not sure what actually happened. So if it appears I have decreased it, that is not correct.

  19. tinao says:

    May all your days be celebrations of truth, democracy, and the rule of law. Thanks to everyone here for all you do.

    • tinao says:

      Hey totally OT, but I am in the middle of reading a wonderfully researched, well written, and very timely food for thought book, ” Red Carpet. ” It is about Hollywood’s relationship with China. It is written by a friend of my daughter’s from high school, Eric Schwartzel. Excellent work Eric!!!

  20. Midtowngirl says:

    To Dr. W. and her Mr.,
    I offer you this old Irish Blessing in celebration of your special day(s):

    May joy and peace surround you,
    Contentment latch your door,
    And happiness be with you now,
    And bless you evermore.

    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.

    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!


  21. Savage Librarian says:


    Number one, yes, the first,
    No one else could be the worst
    quite like Trump, who’s totally immersed
    in every grievance he ever nursed.

    When his bubble was about to burst,
    he tried to get an election reversed,
    Of all his lawyers, some coerced,
    none could ever quench his thirst.

    Some of them were deeply submersed
    in plans where they were interspersed
    throughout the cons he had rehearsed,
    But in the end they all were cursed.

  22. Savage Librarian says:

    Are these 3 on the back burner, or have they successfully avoided joining the pack?

    Jim Trusty
    Lindsey Halligan
    Chris Kise

Comments are closed.