In a sealed order issued on Wednesday, a federal appeals court ordered a Donald Trump attorney to hand over to prosecutors any materials related to the inquiry into the former president’s retention of sensitive records at his Florida resort.

The decision is a major victory for the Justice Department, which has spent months investigating not just the storage of secret papers at Mar-a-Lago but also the reasons why Trump and his aides rejected federal requests to hand them up. According to this, the court appears to have agreed with the prosecution’s case, which was made behind closed doors, that Trump was employing his legal counsel to facilitate a crime.

A three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia published a brief internet notice that reflected the order.

The specifics, however, seem to line up with a covert dispute between Trump’s legal team and a lower court judge over whether M. Evan Corcoran could be compelled to turn over documents or testify before a grand jury in the Justice Department special counsel investigation into whether Trump improperly handled top-secret information at Mar-a-Lago.

Because Corcoran wrote a statement to the Justice Department last year claiming that a “diligent search” for classified papers had been made at Mar-a-Lago in response to a subpoena, it is thought that Corcoran is pertinent to the inquiry. That assertion was incorrect, since FBI investigators weeks later executed a search order at the residence and discovered about 100 more marked-classified documents.

Last November, Christina Bobb, another Trump attorney, informed investigators that Corcoran had written the

Trump or anyone in his orbit obstructed its efforts to recover all the classified documents, which included top-secret material, from his home. No charges have yet been filed. The inquiry is one of multiple legal threats Trump faces, including probes in Atlanta and Washington over his efforts to undo the election result and a grand jury investigation in New York over hush money payments. The New York case appears to be nearing completion and building toward an indictment.

Last week, Beryl Howell, the outgoing chief judge of the U.S. District Court, directed Corcoran to answer additional questions before the grand jury. He had appeared weeks earlier before the federal grand jury investigating the Mar-a-Lago matter, but had invoked attorney-client privilege to avoid answering certain questions.

Though attorney-client privilege shields lawyers from being forced to share details of their conversations with clients before prosecutors, the Justice Department can get around that if it can convince a judge that a lawyer’s services were used in furtherance of a crime – a principle known in the law as the “crime-fraud” exception.