(DCWatchdog.com) – HAPPENING NOW: A federal judge has denied Donald Trump’s request for executive privilege, meaning his former top aides, including Mark Meadows, must testify before a grand jury.
The jury is looking into Trump’s attempts to change the 2020 election results and his involvement in the January 6 riots.
Mark Meadows, who used to be Trump’s chief of staff, received a subpoena from special counsel Jack Smith in January.
Trump’s lawyers tried to stop Meadows from testifying, claiming executive privilege. This privilege allows presidents to have private conversations with their advisors. However, Judge Beryl Howell disagreed with Trump’s defense and said Meadows must testify, as reported by ABC News.
Attorney General Merrick Garland assigned Jack Smith to look into Trump’s actions leading up to the January 6 Capitol riot and his handling of secret information after leaving office. Several former Trump aides will be asked to testify along with Meadows, including John Ratcliffe, Robert O’Brien, Stephen Miller, and Dan Scavino.
Trump might try to challenge the judge’s decision.
A Trump spokesperson told ABC News, “There is no factual or legal basis or substance to any case against President Trump.” They also accused Democrats and the media of using the justice system to influence public opinion.
The federal grand jury involved in this case is separate from another jury in Manhattan, which is investigating a payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.
In that case, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is trying to charge Trump with falsifying business records related to the payment made by Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen. Trump denies any wrongdoing and has criticized Bragg on his social media platform, Truth Social.