Several Trump aides, including a former chief of staff, must testify before a grand jury on Jan. 6, the judge says

(CNN) A federal judge has ordered several former Donald Trump aides, including Mark Meadows, to testify before a grand jury as part of a criminal investigation into efforts to rig the 2020 election.

Trump’s legal team challenged special counsel Jack Smith’s subpoenas seeking testimony and documents from Meadows, the former president’s White House chief of staff, and others.

In a sealed decision last week, then-Chief Justice Beryl Howell rejected the Trump team’s requests for privileges for Meadows and other top Trump administration officials subpoenaed by Smith, including former Director of National Intelligence John Radcliffe, former National Security Adviser Robert O. Brine and former Department of Homeland Security official Ken Cuccinelli, the sources told CNN.

Trump’s privilege requests for former White House aides, including Stephen Miller and Don Scavino, were also rejected, the sources said.

Trump’s legal team is expected to appeal the decision, a source familiar with the matter said.

ABC News The verdict was announced first.

Some of the witnesses who appeared before the grand jury and refused to answer some questions about their ties to Trump may now have to return.

A Trump spokeswoman slammed the decision in a statement, accusing the Justice Department of “continuing to step beyond standard norms in attempting to destroy long-accepted, long-standing, constitutionally-based attorney-client privilege and executive privilege.”

“Any case against President Trump has no factual or legal basis or substance. Deranged Democrats and their cronies in the mainstream media are manipulating public opinion by subverting the legal process, weaponizing the justice system, because they are clearly losing the political battle.”

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O’Brien and Cuccinelli recently appeared before a grand jury after receiving subpoenas as part of Smith’s investigation.

The January 6, 2020, investigation into attempts to subvert the 2020 election prior to the 2021 election and the attack on the U.S. Capitol is one of two ongoing investigations overseen by Special Counsel Smith.

It’s separate from a statewide criminal investigation in Georgia into efforts by Trump and his allies to inflate the 2020 election results and another in New York that centers on the former president’s role in paying off an adult movie star.

Smith is also overseeing a criminal investigation stemming from the discovery of classified documents recovered from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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