Trump lawyers are trying to limit testimony from Pence aides to Jan. 6

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump are engaged in a high-profile legal battle seeking to limit testimony by former top White House aides to a federal grand jury investigating his efforts to sway the 2020 election.

The move sets a precedent-setting challenge that could affect the Justice Department’s investigation into the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack, and addresses the former president’s intent to assert executive or attorney-client privilege to protect the confidentiality of advisers. ‘Communications.

Specific definitions of fighting, First reported by CNN, is not clear. The dispute involved testimony from two key aides to former Vice President Mike Pence — his former chief of staff Mark Short and former adviser Greg Jacobs — a person familiar with the matter said. Appearing before a grand jury in July, Trump answered few but all questions based on the privilege, people familiar with the matter said.

The Justice Department is investigating Trump’s actions in the Jan. 6 criminal investigation

Grand jury matters are generally confidential. However, Trump lawyers M. Evan Corcoran, John B. Rowley III and Timothy C. The case came to light after Parladore appeared in federal court in Washington on Thursday with a lead federal prosecutor on Jan. 6, with no publicly scheduled matters. Thomas Windham. A person familiar with the matter said Trump’s representatives had arrived at the event on January 6.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing criminal investigation.

Trump’s attorneys and a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in DC said they could not comment on grand jury matters. Efforts to reach representatives for Short or Jacobs were not immediately successful Friday night.

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A dispute over executive privilege and compelling a witness’s testimony before a grand jury is usually handled by Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Will be investigated by Howell. Although Howell has moved quickly in the past, any An appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit could drag on until the end of the year, and arguments are unlikely to be made public before then. A spokesman for Howell did not respond to a request for comment.

In most of the frequent fights over executive privilege between Congress and the executive branch The two sides usually compromise and settle their differences rather than risk looking like a frontrunner for either branch of government.

But the stakes of a criminal investigation into Trump’s actions during the presidential transition after he lost re-election in November 2020 could make negotiations more difficult.

The Justice Department is questioning witnesses about conversations with Trump, his lawyers and others in his inner circle Trump allies Joe Biden won instead of certified voters from some states, said people familiar with the matter. Prosecutors spent hours asking detailed questions about Trump’s meetings in December 2020 and January 2021. Pressure on Benz To overturn the election. Those lines of inquiry are separate from the investigation into classified documents recovered from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home — a case that has also generated a legal battle. Issues related to administrator and attorney client privileges.

Both Short and Jacob have unique windows for those events. Both were with Pence at the Capitol on January 6. They testified with Pence’s consent before the House Select Committee, which is conducting a parallel investigation, although the former vice president himself declined to do so. Two days before the riots, John Eastman, a private Trump lawyer, told the Jacobs team that the Pence conspiracy would help sway the election. Illegal.

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In other legal proceedings, Trump’s lawyers defended the executive privilege claims, warning that the rulings could damage the presidency by weakening the confidentiality afforded to conversations with top presidential advisers. They argued that allowing a sitting president to unilaterally waive his predecessor’s executive privilege could politicize and defeat the purpose of that privilege.

However, Trump’s legal options to stop the testimony may be limited by a string of court rulings since Jan. 6.

Courts have long held that claims of the White House’s executive or attorney-client privilege are easily dealt with when seeking information in a criminal proceeding rather than by Congress. The standard for prosecutors is whether they can show a witness may have information important to a criminal investigation that would otherwise not be readily available.

And Although lawmakers must meet the high bar, courts have sided with Congress since January, with the House on Jan. 6 rejecting Trump’s attempt to withhold thousands of White House communications and records from the committee, a similar attempt by Eastman to request attorney-client confidentiality.

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