Special counsel Jack Smith would like Mark Meadows and others who were close to Donald Trump on Jan. 6, 2021, to tell him what they know about Trump's actions that day. Trump is not keen on their doing so and filed a lawsuit to block them from doing so. On Friday, Judge Beryl Howell denied Trump's claim of executive privilege in a sealed order and ordered Meadows and some others to testify. The other people now required to testify include Dan Scavino, Stephen Miller, former DNI John Ratcliffe, and former NSA Robert O'Brien. The former two are close to Trump and are likely to plead the Fifth Amendment on everything but the latter two are more focused on defending the country than defending Trump and might tell what they know. Of course, if Smith grants Scavino and Miller immunity, they would be forced to testify as well.
Trump will probably appeal, but that is very likely to fail. Experts say that criminal investigations usually trump claims of executive privilege. At best it might buy a few more weeks of time. Meadows was with Trump on Jan. 6 and if he is forced to testify, might well decide that saving his own neck is more important than saving Trump's. If so, he could fill in a lot of gaps and testify to Trump's intentions and state of mind that day. Some of the crimes that Trump could be charged with require intent (e.g., inciting a riot) and if Meadows were to say that was exactly Trump's intent, it could be devastating for Trump. (V)