Trump loses emergency appeal to block top aides from testifying before special counsel’s grand jury

Trump loses emergency appeal to block top aides from testifying before special counsel’s grand jury
Former President Donald Trump speaking in Tampa, Florida in July 2022 (Gage Skidmore)

Hours before he will appear in Manhattan Superior Court to be arraigned in his hush money payoff case, a panel of Appeals Court judges rejected Donald Trump‘s “emergency” attempt to block some of his top aides from testifying before Special Counsel Jack Smith‘s grand jury.

Politico’s Kyle Cheney, breaking the news, adds the judges would not block Smith’s attempt to interview the aides in his investigation into Trump’s role in the January 6, 2021 insurrection.

“Several close Trump advisers are the subject of this order, which was part of a rushed series of overnight filings,” Cheney notes, adding the names of the aides are not known as the order was sealed.

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But he points to CNN reporting from late Tuesday morning that reveals “Trump’s team on Monday night asked for the appeals court to wipe away a lower court’s ruling that would force several of his top advisers to answer questions to a grand jury investigating Trump and his allies’ attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, despite his claims of legal protections around his presidency that would shield some of their testimony.”

CNN reports one of the aides is likely Trump’s former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Others might 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. CNN has confirmed some of the witnesses previously testified to the grand jury, but may have declined to answer some questions at Trump’s direction.”

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