Most people are aware of the fact that there exists and attorney-client privilege. This means that communications between clients and their attorneys for the purpose of obtaining legal advice are confidential. The purpose of the attorney client privilege is to encourage clients to be honest and candid with their attorneys so that they may receive good legal advice, without fear of their communications, becoming public. Even in situations where those communications may be relevant to a lawsuit, the privilege supersedes that interest, and the communications remain confidential.
There are several exceptions to the attorney client privilege. The one that is in the news these days is called the crime-fraud exception. Under the crime-fraud exception, the attorney, client privilege is lost where the communications at issue are part and parcel of an attempted crime or fraudulent scheme. Here, the department of justice has apparently convinced a federal judge that former President Trump‘s lawyers were used to commit a crime, namely concealing top-secret documents. Under the circumstances presented, the federal judge determined that the crime-fraud exception applies, and the communications between former President Trump and his attorney are no longer subject to the attorney client privilege.