Trump's executive privilege gambit is useless as Jack Smith 'zeroes in' on his aides: former prosecutor
Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the Prescott Valley Event Center. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Former President Donald Trump's former aides and advisers, former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former Homeland Security official Ken Cuccinelli, and former strategist Stephen Miller, are being ordered by a judge to testify to special counsel Jack Smith's federal grand jury investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — a complete rebuke of Trump and his allies' claims they are shielded by executive privilege.

None of this should be a surprise, former federal prosecutor Shan Wu told MSNBC's Alex Wagner on Friday.

"Attempts that derailed the investigation have failed and the legal battles are far from over," said Wagner. "Just from the prosecutors' perspective, I wonder how you interpret this string of victories for Jack Smith and what it means for future subpoenas like those of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner."

"Alex, this goes to the heart of why the executive privilege defense or barriers won't work here, because dating back to the United States v. Nixon the Supreme Court made it clear that the executive privilege, which does exist, won't shield the communications in the face of a criminal grand jury investigation, which is what we have going on right here," said Wu.

"These folks all indicate that Smith zeroing in on people who are in a position to know about Trump's state of mind, the intent, which is really gonna be the core of the controversy over whether he really believed that there was a problem with the election, where what was he doing in terms of trying to overturn the election results — these are the kind of people you need to have in there to make that case for or against," Wu continued. "My only frustration is I wish that it happened a lot earlier."

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All of this comes as Trump's lawyer Evan Corcoran was ordered by a judge to turn over communications in the classified documents case, which Smith is also investigating — after prosecutors provided evidence that Corcoran misled investigators, triggering the "crime-fraud" exception to attorney-client privilege.

Watch the segment below or at this link.

Shan Wu says Trump's executive privilege defenses are crumbling