The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the Department of Justice Tuesday in ordering testimony from former chief of staff Mark Meadows and other top Trump White House staffers in the DOJ’s Jan. 6 investigation.
A sealed Tuesday order denying an emergency motion from former President Trump’s team came after a flurry of late night activity in the case.
Trump had appealed a sealed decision from then-D.C. District Court Judge Beryl Howell last week that rejected his claims of executive privilege over the officials, ordering them to testify.
Aide Stephen Miller, former Department of Homeland Security official Ken Cuccinelli, former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, and former national security adviser Robert O’Brien were also all directed to testify in Howell’s decision, as were John McEntee, then-director of the Presidential Personnel Office, and Nick Luna, an assistant to Trump.
The case was assigned to a three judge panel at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals late Monday night, with the Justice Department responding just two hours later, shortly after 1 a.m.
The order from the panel came just a few hours after Trump’s team responded Tuesday morning. Both the order and the parties in the case remain under seal.
Meadows could have valuable insight for prosecutors, as he directed a number of White House meetings with GOP lawmakers and coordinated with officials at DOJ and in Georgia. He also reportedly burned papers in his office “once or twice a week,” according to testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.
Meadows dodged a subpoena from the House select committee investigating Jan. 6 after the panel’s work identified him as a key player in a suite of different efforts to keep Trump in office after losing the 2020 election.
The case fell before Judges Patricia Millett, Robert Wilkins, both Obama-era appointees, and Judge Greg Katsas, who was appointed by President Trump.
This is the Trump team’s second loss before the court, after a different three-judge panel there sided with DOJ in a dispute over whether the former president’s attorney in the Mar-a-Lago probe, Evan Corcoran, could be ordered to cooperate in that investigation.
Howell, in a separate ruling, determined that Corcoran could not refuse to answer questions before a grand jury assembled in that case due to attorney-client privilege. The protection can be pierced if legal advice or communications may have been given in furtherance of a crime.
According to ABC News, in that ruling Howell suggested Trump may have withheld relevant information from Corcoran, concealing the existence of additional classified records held at his Florida home following a DOJ subpoena.
Trump’s spokesman denied the story.
—Updated at 1 p.m.