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Trump ignores lawyers’ warnings that Jan. 6 indictments could come

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Trump’s attorneys fear the DOJ’s Capitol riot investigation may be closing in on his inner circle, CNN reported. They are reportedly in talks with the DOJ about whether Trump can claim executive privilege over certain conversations. They also advised Trump not to communicate with former aides, but he ignored their warnings and concerns. Loading Something is loading.

Lawyers for former President Donald Trump fear the Justice Department’s sprawling investigation into the murderous Capitol siege is closing in on his inner circle and indictments looming on the horizon. But Trump has so far dismissed their concerns.

That’s according to CNN, which also reported that Trump’s defense attorneys are in talks with the department about whether Trump could assert executive privilege with respect to conversations he had with officials. aides and advisers when he was president.

The DOJ is bracing for a court battle with Trump over the issue of executive privilege, the report said, especially as several former top White House officials, former White House attorney Pat Cipollone, Cipollone’s deputy Pat Philbin, former Vice President Mike Pence, ex-chief of staff Marc Short and former chief counsel Greg Jacobs have been subpoenaed by grand juries investigating events related to the seat of the Capitol.

Cipollone previously claimed executive privilege during testimony before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack. But as C. Ryan Barber of Insider reported, Cipollone and other White House officials may have a harder time protecting federal government information, given that the Justice Department falls under the executive branch.

The former president has asked his lawyers if they think he will face criminal charges in connection with the Capitol riots investigation, CNN said, but he is also skeptical of his indictment. Instead, he was more concerned about the upcoming 2022 midterm elections and a possible 2024 presidential election.

Trump’s attorneys also reportedly cautioned him against communicating with former aides and advisers ensnared in the Jan. 6 congressional investigation who may be implicated in the Justice Department’s criminal investigation. They expressed particular concern about former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who they believe could be a crucial witness in the department’s investigation, CNN said.

Meadows attorney George Terwilliger dismissed that notion, calling it “idle and ill-informed speculation.” A Trump spokesperson also leveled charges of “partisan political persecution,” adding in a statement to CNN, “How can a future president have private conversations with his attorneys, advisers, and other senior advisers if such an adviser is forced, either during or after the presidency, before a screening committee or other entity, and be forced to reveal these privileged and confidential discussions?”

No one in Trump’s inner circle has been charged directly in connection with the Capitol attack. But former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was convicted last month of contempt of Congress after he refused to cooperate with lawmakers’ investigation into the riot. And former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro will also face a contempt trial in November for also refusing to cooperate.

Trump’s own actions before and on the day of the siege have come under intense scrutiny after Cassidy Hutchinson, a former Meadows aide, testified to lawmakers in detail about her efforts to incite protesters on Jan. 6. At a rally shortly before his supporters stormed Congress, Trump urged the frenzied crowd to “fight like hell” to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden as a 2020 election winner.

Hutchinson told lawmakers that day she heard Trump order that metal detectors used to keep armed protesters away from the president be removed. She also testified that several senior White House aides had warned Trump that the crowd was dangerous and that he refused to calm his supporters despite desperate pleas from his advisers, and at one point he wanted to join the crowd besieging the Capitol.

When crowds of Trump supporters began chanting to “hang Mike Pence,” Hutchinson said, Trump said the vice president deserved those calls.

“Why did she want to come with us if she felt we were so terrible?” Trump wrote on Truth Social after Hutchinson’s testimony last month. “I understand that she was very upset and angry that I didn’t want her to leave or be part of the team. That’s bad news!”

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