Judge considers unsealing Trump grand jury documents

Former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, testified in a grand jury last Thursday, just hours after a federal appeals court panel rejected a final appeal by Trump’s lawyers that they sought to file Concerns about executive privilege.

Following a series of hastily filed documents, three Washington Circuit Court of Appeals judges — Karen Henderson, Robert Wilkins and Florence Penn — in Short The emergency stop request was denied around 7 p.m. prior to testifying. Embodying a closed-door legal battle.

Trump’s team could have sought relief from the Supreme Court after the rejection, but such an application has not yet been filed in the dispute.

The appeals court panel’s ruling was the culmination of a four-month battle on June 10 over testimony related to grand jury subpoenas. 6 Survey. The fight began around the same time that Short first appeared before federal investigators. But it accelerated rapidly in September. On the 28th, Howell ruled against Trump. The nature of the ruling remains secret, but it relates to two grand jury subpoenas challenged by Trump.

The identities of the recipients of those subpoenas are unclear, although time suggests they are related to the testimony of Short and Pence’s general counsel, Greg Jacobs.

politics Move to Kaifeng Howell had 28 rulings and related documents last week in September. On Wednesday, Howell ordered the Justice Department and Trump’s lawyers until Nov. 11 to respond to the motion. 15. The New York Times A similar Kaifeng motion was filed last Friday.

The Washington Post first reported Regarding the appeals court’s ruling, the identity of the judge who decided the matter and the exact timeline of Trump’s secret battle had not previously been reported. CNN first report Jacobs was also the subject of Howell’s ruling in September, and Trump is making a separate challenge to potential testimony from former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Pat Philbin.

In October, Short spent more than three hours in court. 13, but said little to reporters as he left. “I have nothing to give you,” he said. He did not respond to subsequent requests for comment.

Rejecting Trump’s attempts to prevent his former White House aide from testifying is just the latest federal court snub against him.

Hours after Short left the courtroom, the Supreme Court — without any apparent dissent — rejected Trump’s first attempt to involve the justices in a separate criminal investigation into his storage of White House records at Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

The defeat follows other high court rejections of Trump since the 2020 election, as well as access to his financial records for New York district attorneys and House investigators to gain access to the White House with Jan. 6.

The legal battle over Short’s testimony intensified after Howell issued a sealed ruling against Trump on Sept. 9. 28, court records show.

Howell’s ruling dismisses the former president’s attempt to delay the hearing when he brought the executive privilege lawsuit. It comes just six days after three of Trump’s lawyers visited federal court to defend their cases. They left the building after September. Photographers camping outdoors captured 22 appearances.

Howell’s ruling effectively forced Short to testify. Short was previously questioned by federal prosecutors on a grand jury subpoena in June, but he limited his testimony to avoid immediate questioning of Trump’s claim of privilege.

On Oct. 11, two weeks after Howell’s order, Trump sought an emergency stay of her decision in the Washington Circuit Court of Appeals. Henderson, Wilkins and Pan asked the Justice Department to respond to the motion with up to 5,200 words by 4 p.m. on Oct. 4. 12. Even for emergency motions, the timetable is unusually fast.

Henderson was appointed by former President George H.W. Bush. Wilkins and Howell were appointees of former President Barack Obama. Pan is the newest judge on the Washington Circuit Court, appointed by President Joe Biden.

The appeals court docket did not show any judges contesting last week’s ruling.Asked about the matter the next day, a court clerk said the panel’s order on emergency stops re-mail According to seal.

Documents filed by all parties on the appeals court panel also remain sealed. Trump’s appeal is still pending, so he can still ask the Washington Circuit to delve into legal issues and make a formal ruling on whether he has the authority to block testimony from other White House aides or advisers. He can still take the emergency to the Supreme Court to prevent other witnesses from testifying.

A spokesman for Trump declined to comment. The Justice Department also declined to comment.

The secret legal battle appears to be similar to one that took place in 2018 with then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. At the time, a company facing a grand jury subpoena fought to comply with the subpoena to obtain records requested by Mueller prosecutors.

because Extraordinary Efforts to Confidentiality Many of its details surrounding the controversy were kept under wraps for about two years, but it was revealed that a judge had imposed a $50,000-a-day contempt of court fine on a then-unknown party who refused the subpoena.

fight finally reach Supreme Court, but the justices reject into the controversy. 2020, CNN report The battle ties into Mueller’s investigation into a possible transfer of funds from a state-owned bank in Egypt to the 2016 Trump campaign. CNN said Mueller eventually referred the investigation to other prosecutors, but never brought any charges.

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