President Donald Trump’s former legal team has lost bids to support federal appeals in Washington, DC, to block some of his closest advisers from testifying about themselves to a grand jury, with former White House chief of staff Mark Prata next to file for a new trial.
Trump’s team on Monday night asked an appeals court to overrule a lower court that would have forced several of its top advisers to answer questions to a grand jury investigating Trump and his allies’ efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, despite his requests. the protections of the laws about his protections, which would be some of the wings of his testimony.
An appeals court denied his request on Tuesday, with Trump negotiating another legal hurdle before he is set to enter a Manhattan court to face criminal charges in a separate investigation.
The swift decision means that Trump’s advisers, among others, could be brought before a federal grand jury in Washington by prosecutors in the coming days. Trump needs a court to intervene in his favor to block his subpoenas.
Overnight, a three-judge panel of appeals courts – Patricia Millett, Robert Wilkins and Greg Katsas – requested a response from the Justice Department. The Justice Department responded about two hours later.
An appeal on major legal questions about executive privilege assertions could still live before the appeals court, but the action surrounding Trump’s request for relief now requires witnesses to comply with Justice Department subpoenas and lower court rulings against Trump.
The team is likely to ask for help at the top of the bill, one source told CNN.
The case was signed and Trump and the Justice Department were not named in the lawsuit. The Biden administration has repeatedly refused to assert that the executive privilege of the presidency related to Trump’s actions around January 6, 2021, when such questions have arisen on previous occasions.
Other witnesses who may be affected by the ruling include Trump’s former director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, former national security adviser Robert O’Brien, former Department of Homeland Security official Ken Cuccinelli and several Trump White House advisers such as Stephen Miller and Dan Scavino. Trump confirmed some of the witnesses testified before the grand jury, but may have declined to answer some questions directed at Trump.
Chief counsel Jack Smith’s team is helping the grand jury obtain testimony from these Trump seniors as part of a wide-ranging criminal investigation into the activities that took place after Trump’s election in 2020 and on January 6, 2021.
Last week, Trump went to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge the ruling in the case, issued by D.C. District Court Judge Beryl Howell in March. But on Monday, two of Trump’s defense attorneys, Evan Corcoran and James Trusty, visited another district court judge who now oversees grand jury actions, Chief Judge James Boasberg, to ask for a delay, the source said. Their request was denied, prompting Trump’s team to go to the appeals court, requesting emergency relief, according to the source.
The governor’s response to questions from Howell Meadows and others was one of the last in his tenure as the chief judge of the D.C. District Court, and he added a pile of damages to Trump as he tried unsuccessfully to stop federal prosecutors from obtaining evidence. on January 6, 2021 and Mar-a-Lago criminal investigations. Separately, Boasberg recently ruled that former Vice President Mike Pence was required to testify in the same investigation.
Trump has repeatedly lost in court over executive privilege, since the Justice Department can override the president’s privacy because of a grand jury investigation. While Trump’s team has criticized the impeachment trail, there are judicial decisions on the line that could have led to criminal investigations into the Watergate investigation.
This story has been updated with additional information.