Trump Fights Order for Testimony of Former White House Officials

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(Bloomberg) -- Former President Donald Trump is appealing an order rejecting his efforts to block grand jury testimony from several former White House advisers in an investigation into efforts to undermine the 2020 presidential election.

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A federal judge in Washington rebuffed Trump’s challenge earlier in March to efforts by Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office to question former top administration officials. That March 15 order is under seal, but a person familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to discuss it confirmed the substance of the ruling, the date of the order and the district court case number.

A new appeals court docket on Wednesday shows an appeal in that case that matches the date.

ABC News reported earlier that the case involved several former Trump officials including Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who was subpoenaed in February, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, and Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino. Other officials in the case included former senior adviser Stephen Miller, aides Nick Luna and John McEntee, and Ken Cuccinelli, who had been with the Department of Homeland Security.

Judge Beryl Howell, who recently stepped down as chief judge of US District Court in Washington, had rejected Trump’s executive privilege claim over the former advisers’ testimony, according to the person familiar with the order.

Smith’s team has repeatedly prevailed in privilege fights with the former president as the special counsel’s team pursues probes into the 2020 election as well as the handling of classified material after Trump left the White House. Judges recently rebuffed Trump’s challenge to a subpoena issued to his attorney Evan Corcoran and rejected an executive privilege challenge to a demand for testimony from former Vice President Mike Pence.

The latest docket in the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit did not include any details about which judges would hear the matter.

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