(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s defense attorney Evan Corcoran spent more than three hours at the federal courthouse in Washington Friday, appearing before a grand jury probing the handling of classified documents after the former president left office and whether US efforts seeking their return were obstructed. 

Corcoran exited the courthouse around lunchtime with his attorney Elizabeth Martin and declined to answer questions from reporters.

His grand jury appearance came after Trump’s legal team lost a secret legal fight to stop him from being forced to face questions that they contend violate attorney-client privilege.

A federal appeals court on Wednesday had denied motions by Trump’s lawyers to keep the district court ruling on the privilege issue from taking effect. The three-judge panel also ordered Corcoran to produce documents.

Corcoran previously appeared before the grand jury in January in connection with Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith’s probe into the handling of sensitive government records at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. 

The grand jury proceedings are sealed and not open to the public.

Corcoran has been part of a team of five lawyers representing Trump in connection with the documents probe as well as a separate investigation being run out of Smith’s office into efforts to undermine the 2020 presidential election. 

The Baltimore-based former federal prosecutor had played a central role in the classified documents saga long before the FBI executed a court-authorized search warrant at the Florida complex last August. He was involved in coordinating Trump’s response to the May 2022 grand jury subpoena for classified material at the Florida resort.

Corcoran sent a letter to a top official last spring insisting Trump had been acting in “good faith” as the National Archives tried to retrieve government records still in his possession and suggested the government was on shaky legal footing if it continued its investigation.

(Updates with Corcoran’s departure in second paragraph.)

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