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Judge Hands Down Major Blow to Trump in January 6 Probe
Judge Rejects Executive Privilege Claims and Orders Testimony from Meadows and Other Top Trump Aides in Jan. 6 Investigation
A federal judge has dealt a blow to former President Donald Trump's legal efforts to shield his top aides from a high-stakes investigation into his failed bid to overturn the 2020 election. Mark Meadows, Trump's former chief of staff, along with a host of other former senior officials, has been ordered to testify before a federal grand jury probing the events that led up to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, multiple sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.
Special counsel Jack Smith subpoenaed Meadows and the others for testimony and documents relating to the probe. However, Trump's legal team had challenged the subpoenas by invoking executive privilege, a presidential right to keep confidential any conversations he has with advisers.
In a sealed order last week, Judge Beryl Howell rejected Trump's claims of executive privilege, paving the way for Meadows, former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, former national security adviser Robert O'Brien, former top aide Stephen Miller, former deputy chief of staff and social media director Dan Scavino, former Trump aides Nick Luna and John McEntee, and former top DHS official Ken Cuccinelli to testify.
Sources familiar with the matter indicate that Trump is likely to appeal the ruling. This development underscores the challenges faced by Trump as he seeks to protect himself and his allies from scrutiny in the aftermath of the Capitol insurrection.
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