June 8, 2023

Former Justice Department attorney George Higginbotham, former Republican National Committee deputy fundraising chair Elliott Broidy, and California businesswoman Nickie Lum Davis have already pleaded guilty in connection with the investigation into the influence-peddling effort. However, before leaving office, Trump granted Broidy a full pardon.

Kenner did not elaborate on what testimony Trump or Obama could offer about the effort, but said the value of their accounts should be evident to prosecutors. “I believe it’s all relevant,” Kenner said.

“The government is not intending to call any former presidents,” Justice Department lawyer John Keller told Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly during the half-hour-long court session Tuesday. However, Keller said the government does plan to call two high level officials from the Trump White House: former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and one of his deputies, Ricky Waddell. Neither is expected to resist testifying, Keller said.

Kollar-Kotelly expressed concern that efforts to draw the former presidents and other high-profile individuals into the case could complicate plans for Michel’s long-delayed jury trial to go forward in March. The judge was adamant Tuesday that, even if the former presidents seek to quash the subpoenas for their testimony, the trial will begin as scheduled on March 27.

“I do not have any time to push this case back, so you’re going on the dates you’ve got,” said Kollar-Kotelly, an appointee of President Bill Clinton.

Michel — who has pleaded not guilty in the case — has been free pending trial, but his legal troubles appear to have contributed to a decision to cancel an international reunion tour last year for the American hip-hop group best known for the songs “Ready or Not” and “Killing Me Softly.”

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