Trump attorney lawyers up — and says she’s willing to cooperate with DOJ in Mar-a-Lago case: report

Christina Bobb has already retained an attorney and colleagues are urging Evan Corcoran to do the same

By Igor Derysh

Managing Editor

Published October 3, 2022 9:23AM (EDT)

Former President Donald Trump gets ready to speak during a Save America rally on October 1, 2022 in Warren, Michigan. (Emily Elconin/Getty Images)
Former President Donald Trump gets ready to speak during a Save America rally on October 1, 2022 in Warren, Michigan. (Emily Elconin/Getty Images)

At least one member of former President Donald Trump's legal team has hired her own attorney — and allies are urging another to follow suit, according to The Washington Post.

Trump attorneys Christina Bobb and Evan Corcoran affirmed to the Justice Department that Trump had handed over all classified records from his Mar-a-Lago residence in response to a May subpoena. But prosecutors said their response was "incomplete" after the FBI searched and found more documents at Mar-a-Lago and cited evidence of "obstructive conduct" in response to the subpoena.

Bobb has since hired her own lawyer, Florida-based former prosecutor John Lauro, and "made it known to Trump allies that she is willing to cooperate and be interviewed by the Justice Department," according to the Post. And colleagues have similarly urged Corcoran to hire a criminal defense lawyer because of his response to the subpoena, according to the report, but he has insisted it is not necessary.

Asked if she was negotiating to sit for an interview with the DOJ, Bobb told the outlet, "I'm sorry, I'm not allowed to talk about it."

Bobb signed a document affirming that Trump handed over "all documents that are responsive to the subpoena" after a "diligent search." Corcoran then met with DOJ officials and made a similar statement. Investigators ultimately found more evidence that there were additional documents at Mar-a-Lago and secured a warrant to search the premises in August.

Bobb, a former OAN host who helped push Trump's legal challenges following the 2020 election, has insisted to Trump allies that she believes the document she signed was accurate, according to the Post. But she also told the pro-Trump Right Side Broadcasting Network that she was not acting as Trump's attorney while serving as a custodian of records when responding to the subpoena, according to the report, meaning that the DOJ could compel her testimony more easily than if she were acting as Trump's lawyer at the time.

"I think people were a little bit confused," Bobb said. "I am on President Trump's legal team. I do work for him on election issues. I was never on the legal team handling this case, just to be clear on that. Which is why I came in as the custodian of records — because I wasn't on that team."

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Corcoran, who is referenced as Trump's attorney in court documents, has also been "counseled" by colleagues to lawyer up, according to the report. Trump hired Corcoran, who recently returned to practicing law, in April with no vetting after a single conference call while he was representing former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who was convicted of contempt of Congress earlier this year.

"Christina Bobb and Evan Corcoran need their own criminal lawyers," former DOJ inspector general Michael Bromwich tweeted, citing their "multiple misrepresentations" to the DOJ.

With his own attorneys facing potential legal jeopardy, Trump struggled to find an elite attorney willing to represent him in the case. Trump ultimately hired former Florida Solicitor General Chris Kise, who once represented a member of Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro's administration, paying him a $3 million retainer from money donated to his super PAC.

Kise has advised Trump to "turn down the temperature" with the DOJ and fought with advisers who urged a more aggressive approach, according to the Post. Kise warned Trump's team that attacks were only likely to make the DOJ more aggressive and urged them to seek an "off-ramp" before a possible indictment, according to the report. He also argued that Trump's other lawyers, who he said lacked experience with this type of case, had "deepened Trump's problems" and "could face legal trouble themselves," according to the Post.

Just weeks after joining Trump's legal team, CNN reported that he has already been sidelined. Though his name appeared on numerous court filings, he did not sign onto the Trump team's combative filing questioning the DOJ's motives last week. The Post reported that Kise is now unlikely to play a public role in the Mar-a-Lago case, though he will continue to help Trump deal with "his other legal problems."

Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich did not respond to questions from the Post.

"While the media wants to focus on gossip, the reality is these witch hunts are dividing and destroying our nation," he told the outlet. "And President Trump isn't going to back down."

By Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is Salon's managing editor. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald and Baltimore Sun.

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Aggregate Chris Kise Christina Bobb Donald Trump Evan Corcoran Politics