Trump grand jury to hear testimony from aide who was with him on Jan. 6

WASHINGTON — A federal grand jury deciding whether to indict Donald Trump over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election is set to meet Thursday and hear testimony from an aide who was with the former president for much of the day on Jan. 6, 2021.

William Russell, a former White House aide who now works for Trump’s presidential campaign, is scheduled to testify before the grand jury convened by special counsel Jack Smith. Russell has previously testified before the grand jury, which is investigating the Jan. 6 riot and efforts to “interfere with the lawful transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election.”

Trump — who said this week that he received a target letter giving him until Thursday to testify before the grand jury — is not expected to appear at the federal courthouse in Washington.

Trump’s target letter mentioned three specific federal statutes related to deprivation of rights, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and tampering with a witness, said two attorneys with direct knowledge of the document.

A photo featured by the House Jan. 6 committee of former President Donald Trump talking to his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and aide William Russell before Trump’s speech on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021.House Select Committee via AP file

The grand jury has already heard testimony from dozens of witnesses in the wide-ranging investigation.

Smith’s team appears to be focusing on the so-called fake electors scheme that involved false slates of electors — Trump allies who wrongly asserted that he had won battleground states where President Joe Biden was victorious.

Smith also subpoenaed security video from a polling site in Georgia, suggesting an interest in some of the bogus conspiracy theories that Trump and his team spread about Black poll workers in a state Biden won.

Smith, who delivered a grand jury indictment against Trump last month in connection with his handling of classified documents, was appointed in November, shortly after Trump announced his 2024 presidential bid.

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