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Supporters of President Donald Trump protest inside the Capitol on Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

The Justice Department told former Trump administration officials this week that they could testify to the committees investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The move counters the view of President Trump, who has argued that his decisions made as president are protected by executive privilege, per the Times.

  • A court battle could ensue if Trump sues in an attempt to block testimony. "In that case, the courts could be forced to decide the extent to which a former president can be protected by privilege," the Times writes.

Driving the news: Trump administration officials can testify to the House Oversight and Reform Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee, both of which are investigating the Trump administration's efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

  • “Department lawyers, including those who have left the department, are obligated to protect nonpublic information they learned in the course of their work,” the Justice Department said in a letter signed by Bradley Weinsheimer, a top ranking career official in the deputy attorney general’s office, per the Times.
  • "The extraordinary events in this matter constitute exceptional circumstances warranting an accommodation to Congress," Weinsheimer wrote.

Go deeper

McConnell: GOP should move past Trump's "rehash" of 2020 election

Former President Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell at the White House. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters Tuesday that Republicans should be looking to "the future and not the past" when asked about how comfortable he was with the GOP "embracing" former President Trump.

Why it matters: CNN's Manu Raju posed the question after Trump attended a GOP retreat last week, noting that McConnell had said the former president was "morally responsible for provoking the events" on the day of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, per Business Insider.

Trump blasts "wacky" GOP Sen. Cassidy after "Axios on HBO" interview

Former President Trump on Monday blasted Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) after he told "Axios on HBO" that he is not sure Trump could win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Driving the news: When told that Trump could be expected to win the nomination, Cassidy jumped in saying: "I don't know that."

Jim Jordan says Jan. 6 call with Trump happened after attack

Rep. Jim Jordan. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Wednesday told a House panel his Jan. 6 phone call with former President Trump took place after the attack on the Capitol, though he waffled on the possibility and timing of other calls.

Why it matters: The Jan. 6 select committee is casting a wide net to try to uncover facts about Trump's involvement in the attack, and Jordan's conversations that day with the former president put him in that panel's crosshairs.