Special Counsel Jack Smith scored a big win as a federal judge rejected Trump’s claim of executive privilege and ordered Mark Meadows and others to testify about the plot to overturn the 2020 election.
A federal judge has rejected former President Donald Trump’s claims of executive privilege and has ordered Mark Meadows and other former top aides to testify before a federal grand jury investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the election leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, multiple sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.
In a sealed order last week, Judge Beryl Howell rejected Trump’s claim of executive privilege for Meadows and a number of others, including Trump’s former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, his former national security adviser Robert O’Brien, former top aide Stephen Miller, and former deputy chief of staff and social media director Dan Scavino, according to sources familiar with the matter.
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There are many reasons why Trump’s executive privilege claim was bound to be rejected. The biggest one is that criminal plots by a president and his/her aides and administrative officials are not one of the five areas of executive privilege that have been established by case law and the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel.
Courts have consistently ruled that Trump’s plot to overturn the election was not part of his presidential duties or Congress’s legislative scope. Trump acted as a candidate when he tried to overturn the election, so presidential executive privilege would not apply to a criminal plot to subvert democracy.
Trump is expected to appeal the ruling, given that he has yet to win a single executive privilege claim related to the 2020 plot, the odds are that Meadows and others in the former president’s inner circle will be forced to testify.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association