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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

DOJ restores retirement benefits for ex-FBI senior official

Then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testifying before a House subcommittee in June 2017. Photo: Pete Marovich/Getty Images

The Department of Justice gave former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe back pay and restored his retirement benefits as part of a settlement for a federal lawsuit alleging he was illegally fired for political reasons in March 2018.

Why it matters: McCabe had been dismissed hours before he was set to retire by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions after an inspector general's report alleged that he had improperly disclosed information to reporters, meaning he was denied retirement and other benefits.

Updated 43 mins ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

American officials and authorities in Haiti are working to try and free 12 adults and five children from a U.S.-based missionary group kidnapped in Port-au-Prince over the weekend, AP reported Monday.

The latest: Christian Aid Ministries said in a statement Sunday, "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children." The Ohio-based group said they were on a trip to visit an orphanage when they were kidnapped Saturday.

China's economic growth slows

A worker assembles heavy truck engines in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, on Monday. Photo: Long We/Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

China's economy grew 4.9% in the third quarter of 2021 compared with a year earlier, the country's National Bureau of Statistics announced Monday.

Why it matters: The gross domestic product growth in the July-September quarter in the world’s second-largest economy marked the "weakest pace since the third quarter of 2020 and slowing from 7.9% in the second quarter," Reuters notes.