Judge rejects Trump’s claims about executive power, orders aides to testify Jan. 6
A federal judge has ordered several senior aides to former President Donald Trump to testify before a grand jury as part of a criminal investigation into Trump’s efforts to nullify the 2020 presidential election, according to reports from Friday. ‘ABC News and CNN.
Trump’s legal team tried to claim executive privilege to prevent his former aides from testifying and providing documents to special counsel Jack Smith, who issued subpoenas in an investigation wider on the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. But in an order sealed last week, Judge Beryl Howell dismissed Trump’s efforts and ordered Mark Meadows, his former chief of staff, to testify, among other things.
Howell also requested the testimony of John Ratcliffe, Trump’s former director of national intelligence; Robert O’Brien, his former national security adviser; Stephen Miller, his former principal assistant; and Dan Scavino, his former deputy chief of staff.
Ken Cuccinelli, a former senior Department of Homeland Security official, was also included in the judge’s order. So did former Trump aides Nick Luna and John McEntee.
Trump’s legal team is expected to appeal Howell’s decision, according to ABC News.
Howell in October denied Trump’s request for executive privilege to block testimony from some of former Vice President Mike Pence’s top aides, Greg Jacob and Marc Short. In that decision, the judge ruled that it was up to the current president to assert executive privilege, not a former president.