'No chance' Trump’s gambit to shut up witnesses in J6 case will work: legal expert

'No chance' Trump’s gambit to shut up witnesses in J6 case will work: legal expert
Official Portrait, President Donald J. Trump. (White House photo) White House bio: https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/president-trump
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Former President Donald Trump is once again trying to stymie special counsel Jack Smith's investigation into the January 6 attack, asking a court to block former Vice President Mike Pence's testimony.

In a panel on MSNBC's "The Beat" on Friday with Ari Melber and former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance, former Solicitor General Neal Katyal outlined why Trump's options to block Pence are dead ends.

"For people who aren't following every little development, it's bad news if your argument is people should be blanket blocked," said Melber. "You can see all these individuals have been ordered to testify, except for [Mark] Meadows and [John] Ratcliffe, was mentioned, and [Stephen] Miller, I believe to have testified. I'm curious, as Joyce says, your views."

"With respect to former Vice President Pence, he's both like a target and intended victim, but he's also a material witness," said Katyal. "He was the one who undoubtedly was pressured by Trump at various points before January 6th, and prosecutors of course need that information. He's kind of the central witness. He's the Forrest Gump of the whole thing. And Pence has tried to assert, in the past, two privileges: executive privilege and speech or debate privilege, saying that as a member of Congress, which the vice president arguably is, that he's entitled to a certain immunity. He lost both those claims dramatically in the U.S. Court of Appeals, our nation's second highest court, and Pence said, I'm not going to appeal them."

"So now you're absolutely right, Trump is coming in and trying to gag Pence because Pence has said no appeal, and he might try and revive not just executive privilege but the speech or debate claim, which I think would go nowhere because that's really held by the vice president and not the president," Katyal continued.

"With respect to executive privilege, I agree with Joyce, I think there's no chance this U.S. Supreme Court will entertain it," added Katyal. "And executive privilege, Trump tried to do it last year with respect to the January 6th investigation, asserting executive privilege. He lost that 8-1 in the supreme court. Only Clarence Thomas was willing to side with President Trump. The Pence one is not materially different. If anything, the case for piercing executive privilege is much stronger. I don't see, actually, much delay in this. I expect that if Trump does continue his action in the nation's second-highest court, he's going to lose that in a matter of days, probably next week. And then they can try and go to the U.S. supreme court and they'll lose that in a matter of days. So basically, Trump is now, I think, facing the music."

Watch video below or at this link.

Neal Katyal says there's "no chance" Trump's executive privilege gambit will workyoutu.be

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