Several Trump aides, including Meadows, ordered to testify
By Zachary Cohen, Kristen Holmes and Katelyn Polantz | CNN
A federal judge has ordered several former aides to Donald Trump, including Mark Meadows, to testify before a grand jury in the criminal investigation into efforts to nullify the 2020 election, dismissing the former president’s claims regarding executive privilege, multiple sources confirmed to CNN.
Trump’s legal team had challenged subpoenas issued by Special Counsel Jack Smith demanding testimony and documents from Meadows, the former White House chief of staff, and several others by asserting executive privilege .
In a decision sealed last week, then-Chief Justice Beryl Howell dismissed the Trump team’s claims of privilege for Meadows and other senior Trump administration officials who were subpoenaed. by Smith, including former director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe, former national security adviser Robert O’Brien and former Department of Homeland Security official Ken Cuccinelli, sources told CNN.
Trump’s privilege claims for other former White House aides, including Stephen Miller and Dan Scavino, have also been denied, the sources said.
Trump’s legal team is expected to appeal the decision, a source familiar with the matter said.
ABC News first reported the decision.
Some of the witnesses who previously appeared before the grand jury but refused to answer certain questions related to their interactions with Trump will now likely have to return.
A Trump spokesperson criticized the decision in a statement, accusing the Justice Department of “continuing to deviate widely from standard norms in attempting to destroy long-standing accepted and established constitutional norms of attorney privilege- client and executive privilege”.
“There is no factual or legal basis or substance to a case against President Trump. Deranged Democrats and their mainstream media comrades are corrupting the judicial process and militarizing the justice system in order to manipulate public opinion because they are clearly losing the political battle.
O’Brien and Cuccinelli recently appeared before the grand jury after receiving subpoenas in connection with Smith’s investigation.
The investigation into efforts to nullify the 2020 election ahead of the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol is one of two ongoing investigations overseen by Special Counsel Smith.
It is separate from the state-level criminal investigation in Georgia tied to efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election results there and another in New York centered on the alleged role of the former president in silent money payments to an adult movie star.
Smith is also overseeing the criminal investigation stemming from the discovery of classified documents recovered from Trump’s Mar-a-lago residence.
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