(MIAMI) — Former President Donald Trump is narrowing down his list of potential attorneys as he and his team work to expand his legal team following his arraignment Tuesday on federal charges, sources tell ABC News.
Multiple sources have described the process as “productive,” with “several options” for lawyers that could join his legal defense.
The former president, appearing in federal court in Miami, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 37 criminal counts related to his handling of classified materials, after prosecutors said he repeatedly refused to return hundreds of documents containing classified information ranging from U.S. nuclear secrets to the nation’s defense capabilities.
Trump has denied all wrongdoing, saying that his handling of all documents was in line with the Presidential Records Act. Officials with the National Archives and Records Administration, however, have said that the act requires a president to separate personal and presidential documents “before leaving office.”
Trump’s search for new counsel comes after his attorneys in the case, Jim Trusty and John Rowley, resigned on Friday, just hours after Trump was informed on Thursday of the indictment.
With no timetable set for Trump’s next court date, sources said there’s no time crunch to officially finalize the team.
Nevertheless, Trump’s history of legal turnover has led to some attorneys to turn him down, while others have asked for retainer fees that Trump’s team views as excessive, multiple sources told ABC News.
Among the first motions Trump’s legal team is expected to file is a motion to dismiss the indictment entirely, according to sources.
Sources said Trump’s team believes a critical witness in the case will be Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran, who was ordered to turn over notes and provide testimony to a grand jury after a federal judge determined in March that the government had made a prima facie case that Trump had “committed criminal violations” by deliberately misleading Corcoran about his handling of documents, as ABC News reported at the time.
Trump’s legal team has discussed filing a motion to suppress Corcoran’s notes and make his testimony inadmissible at trial, sources tell ABC News.
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