A new judge is going to take over the oversight of grand jury investigations on former President Donald Trump’s cases, including a case over the classified documents found in his Mar-a-Lago estate.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge James “Jeb” Boasberg was sworn in as chief judge of the federal district court in Washington, D.C. This role will require him to have oversight of grand jury cases including sealed disputes like the investigations into Trump. Boasberg, who is an Obama appointee, is going to be replacing another Obama appointee, currently chief judge, Beryl Howell. Howell has served during a number of high-profile investigations, including the Department of Justice’s investigation into the potential link between Russia and Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. The chief judge stays in that position on a seven-year basis.
This position is particularly important as Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith is currently conducting grand jury investigations into both the classified documents found in Trump’s possession as well as Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results which led to the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
These investigations include a number of sealed disputes, including a current fight over whether the grand jury can get another testimony from Trump lawyer M. Evan Corcoran. Last year, Corcoran had drafted a statement that noted that following a “diligent search” there were no other classified documents in Trump’s estate. However, weeks later the FBI searched the estate following a warrant and recovered around 100 additional documents that contained classified markings.
During his original testimony, Corcoran had claimed attorney-client privilege in order to avoid answering several questions.