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Trump loses bid to block Meadows, aides in Jan. 6 inquiry

President Donald Trump is seen on a screen speaking to supporters during a rally to challenge the certification of the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, January 6, 2021.

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

A federal judge has ordered former aides to former President Donald Trump, including his former chief of staff Mark Meadows, to testify before a grand jury in Washington, DC, investigating Trump’s efforts to reverse his 2020 election defeat before the Capitol riot on January 6. , NBC News reported on Friday.

In a sealed order, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled against Trump’s attempt to block his aides from speaking to the grand jury on the grounds of executive privilege, people familiar with the matter told NBC. Executive privilege is the legal doctrine that allows certain executive communications to be kept confidential.

NBC sources said other aides affected by the decision are former White House deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, former national security adviser Robert O’Brien, former senior aide Stephen Miller, former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, former Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli, former aide Nick Luna and former White House Presidential Personnel Office Director John McEntee.

Trump is expected to appeal the ruling, which was filed in secret because it involves grand jury issues, according to NBC.

Howell issued the ruling last week, according to ABC News, which first reported the sealed order.

Meadows and other aides were reportedly subpoenaed earlier in the year by Jack Smith, the special counsel appointed by the Justice Department to oversee two criminal investigations related to Trump, including the investigation centered on the 6 January.

Smith is also investigating the classified documents that were sent to Trump’s private residence in Florida, as well as the possible obstruction of that investigation.

The developments in the special counsel’s case came as Trump railed against the Manhattan prosecutor, whose separate investigation into Trump recently appeared to be entering its final stages. Trump incorrectly predicted he would be arrested on Tuesday on charges stemming from the investigation, which centers on a 2016 silent payment to a porn star who claims to have had an affair with Trump.

Trump also faces a legal threat in Georgia, where a Fulton County grand jury is investigating efforts by him and his allies to interfere in the state’s 2020 election. Trump narrowly lost that contest to President Joe Biden.

Days before Congress was called to confirm Biden’s overall presidential victory, Trump called Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and urged him to “find” enough votes to reverse the result.

Meadows was on that call and was close to Trump on January 6, 2021, when a violent mob of then-president’s supporters stormed the US Capitol and temporarily halted the peaceful transfer of power.


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