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CNN: The latest on the criminal investigation into Trump’s alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election

CNN’s Jessica Schneider reports that a federal judge has ordered several former Donald Trump aides to testify before a grand jury as part of the criminal investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election, rejecting the former president’s claims of executive privilege, but Trump’s legal team is expected to appeal. CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig joins Jake Tapper to discuss. #CNN #News


Federal judge handing a significant blow to Donald Trump today, rejecting the former president’s claims of executive privilege in that January six investigation. The judge ordering a number of Trump’s former top White House aides to testify before a grand jury. Sources tell CNN the list includes former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows,

Former director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe, former national security adviser Robert O’Brien and others. Some of these aides have already testified, but now they’re likely before forced to appear before the grand jury once again for even more testimony and ordered to turn over more documents. But as CNN’s Jessica Stanford reports, Trump’s

Legal team is expected to try to appeal this decision. Trump’s closest advisers ordered to testify in two Justice Department probes. A federal judge rejecting Trump’s claim of executive privilege, ordering former White House chief of Staff Mark Meadows, senior aide Stephen Miller and others to answer questions from a grand jury investigating efforts

To overturn the 2020 election. I remember leaning against the doorway and saying, it’s an interesting conversation as pretty Mark. Sounds like we’re going to go to the Capitol. We’re going to walk down to the Capitol. He didn’t look up from his phone and said something to the effect of,

There’s a lot going on, guys, but I don’t know. Things might get real, real bad. Separately, Evan Corcoran, a top Trump attorney and a crucial witness in special counsel Jack Smith’s classified documents probe spending nearly 4 hours testifying behind closed doors to a federal grand jury on Friday. Trump also fought in court

To stop his testimony, but several judges ruling Corcoran must divulge information about the conversations he had with former President Trump leading up to the FBI search of Mar a Lago last summer, and that Corcoran must turn over handwritten notes documenting their interactions. FBI agents seized more than 100 classified documents

From Elago in August. They should give me immediately back everything that they’ve taken from me. Because it’s mine. It’s mine. FBI agents seized more than 100 classified documents from Elago in August, and in November, the attorney general appointed special counsel, Jack Smith, to investigate, among other things, whether Trump obstructed

The government’s attempts to get back all of the classified material still in his possession after he left office. Evan Corcoran crafted a statement in June 20, 22 claiming a diligent search had been conducted at Mar a Lago and that all classified documents had been returned. A source tells CNN

Prosecutors wanted to ask Corcoran about that statement and a June phone call between him and Trump that took place the same day a subpoena was issued for Mar a Lago. Surveillance footage that showed boxes being moved out of a storage room. You still have the surveillance tape, is that correct? Absolutely, Sean.

Sources tell CNN prosecutors have made clear that they believe Trump used Corcoran to advance a crime. A Trump spokesperson has fired back, accusing the Justice Department of continuously stepping far outside the standard norms in an attempt to destroy the long accepted, long held, constitutionally based standards of attorney client privilege and executive privilege.

From the beginning, he has tried to cooperate, Trump attorney Tim Palmer later tells CNN. He also testified before the grand jury in December, divulging details about additional searches for classified documents he organized at several Trump properties last year. They would rather make this into an adversarial fight

And try to make it into a criminal case. So Special Counsel Jack Smith will now be getting an influx of new information, both from Evan Corcoran, who was forced to testify in front of the grand jury today, and also from that array of top Trump administration officials who will now have to testify

To the grand jury about what transpired on and around January 6th. And, Jake. Our team is told that Trump’s legal team is expected to appeal this decision and not let these officials assert this executive privilege. And interestingly, it does mean that some of these officials who have already been subpoenaed, like the former

National security adviser Robert O’Brien, also Ken Cuccinelli from Homeland Security. It’s likely they’ll have to go back and testify more now that they can’t assert that privilege. All right, Jessica Snider, thank you so much. Let’s talk about this now with CNN senior legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Ali.

Ali, a lot to talk about here. Let’s talk about the start with the judge telling all these Trump people that they have to testify. Sources say Trump’s legal team, they’re expected to appeal. Do they have a case to make an executive privilege case? No, they don’t, Jake.

They certainly have the right to appeal, but they’re not going to win. They’ve got two major problems. First of all, executive privilege is meant to design to protect governmental conversations about legitimate policy, legitimate strategy. It’s not designed to cover up for disclosure about malfeasance or wrongdoing or criminality.

This is a criminal grand jury subpoena. Judges are very likely to enforce those subpoenas, very unlikely to allow an assertion of executive privilege. And second of all, Trump’s a former president. And while a former president can exert executive privilege in very narrow circumstances, it is a stark uphill climb to do that.

So Trump is also trying to assert executive privilege to stop Vice President Pence from being forced to testify. Do you think this ruling signals that that will also fail? I do think so, Jake. Yesterday on this show, I said that Trump had virtually no chance to succeed on the Mike Pence case.

I guess I’ll downgrade that even further now. But it’s important to keep in mind there’s a separate argument on the Pence case, because Mike Pence himself is arguing that he’s protected by a different legal doctrine, this idea of speech and debate, because as vice president, he was president of the Senate.

I think there’s a better basis for that. And that might enable Pence to avoid answering some questions about what he did in his role as Senate president. If Trump loses these appeals, is there any way that Meadows and these other top Trump aides can get out of testifying? Can they plead the Fifth?

There’s only one way, and you just said it, they can take the Fifth. That means that any testimony they give might be used against and they have that absolute right to take the Fifth. But if they do that, DOJ prosecutors do have a countermove available. They can go to a judge

And ask for an order of immunity, meaning your testimony is not going to be used against you, but now you have to testify. That’s a strategic decision to be made by prosecutors. I made that kind of decision quite frequently, but it means they get the testimony. It also means they’re very unlikely

To be able to prosecute, whether it’s Mark Meadows or whoever, the witnesses. So just a game this out. So let’s say I’m Mark Meadows and I say and I lose all the appeals and I’m forced to testify. I say I’m going to assert my Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. And you’re the prosecutor.

You says we’re giving you complete immunity. You won’t be incriminating yourself. And then you go and then what do I do if I’m Mark Meadows and what do you do as the prosecutor? So this is not optional. If a prosecutor gives Mark Meadows immunity, he has to testify. It doesn’t matter

Whether he wants immunity or not. And if he refuses, if he just says You can’t force the words out of my mouth, then we’re in a contempt of court situation. And you may those who remember history may think of Susan McDougal, who was a witness in the Clinton investigation, the Whitewater investigation.

She went to prison for 18 months for refusing to testify. So if it comes down to it, if DOJ says you’re immunize meadows and he says you can’t make me talk, then a judge can absolutely throw Mark Meadows or whoever it is into prison until he does. Take us behind the scenes.

If you’re a prosecutor, you’re about to question Meadows, Scavino, Miller, all these people who have had one on one conversations with Donald Trump around January six. How are you preparing for that? Well, first of all, it’s just a goldmine to be able to go in and ask them. These are the key questions

That you want to know. I’m looking at certainly all the documents. We know that prosecutors have sent out several documents for subpoenas. I want to look at everything the January six committee did. And most importantly, we just heard a clip. Cassidy Hutchinson I would review every word that Cassidy Hutchinson said

Because she was one of Mark Meadows aides. She was by his side. She’s already testified about conversations that she had with Meadows, but also conversations that she knows Meadows had with Trump. So I would go through that testimony very carefully and get out a red pen and circle all those pieces of testimony.

Why is it taken so long to get this point? I mean, isn’t Meadows we know is that the White House in January six, one of the first witnesses you would have tried to secure? I completely agree with that sentiment, Jake. I think it’s been a failure by Merrick Garland that it’s taken

Until mid 2023 for Mark Meadows to be compelled to testify. There was never any mystery. Mark Meadows and the others were at the center of this. Garland has said all along, We start at the bottom and then we work our way up. But that’s a bureaucratic approach. That’s not a strong prosecutorial approach.

The reality is good prosecutors start at the highest point you can. And so I think an aggressive prosecutor on day one or perhaps a few months in in 2021 would have immediately subpoenaed Mark Meadows and the other people we’re talking about. And if that had happened, they would have had this testimony

Long ago. All right, Ellie Hoenig, thanks so much for your insights, as always.




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  2. Mọi người nếu Rùa biết đe Trứng thì mất bao nhiêu lâu..? Nhưng Tôi kinh Doanh thì có thu nhập và Nạp thuế và Dầu Thô cũng là lợi Cho Quốc Gia.. Thưa Ông Truum..OK

  3. The GOP keeps saying it's "politically motivated" but never declare his innocence. They might as well just speak plainly and say they believe the president is above the law and shouldn't be held accountable. (EDIT: Yes, I realize they're secretly relieved, especially DeSantis, but they have to put up appearances for the 75% of their voters that are MAGAs)

  4. @3:23: No, Parlatore, the Mar-a-Lago documents case turned adversarial only after more docs turned up after the first request, then more after the subpoena, then yet more after the search warrant was executed.


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  6. you mean the January 6th that was all orchestrated by the FBI to frame Trump? The candy **s liberal daisies will stop at nothing to stop Trump. But hey, Trump will win for the THIRD time in ‘24..

  7. Lol, so this case is banking a phone call questioning the election. I heard the media version and the non edited version nothing illegal or criminal, with actual evidence of corruption in the Whitehouse now this is what our justice system chooses to investigate. J6ers are now getting released, the horned j6er now getting exonerated over video evidence. Do ur own research

  8. I have never met person in my life who says “what a handsome looking man I am “ either in public or just in general to hear someone make comments about his/her appearance “ what a beautiful man…look at that he’s beautiful “….

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