WASHINGTON — Kash Patel, a close associate of Donald Trump, the former president, is set to soon testify before a federal grand jury probing the handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago after receiving immunity for his information, people familiar with the matter said.
A federal judge recently decided the Justice Department couldn’t force Patel to testify without such protection against his statements being used against him in some future prosecution. That ruling, the people said, opens the door for Patel, who says Trump broadly declassified White House documents while still president, to answer questions.
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Patel appeared before the grand jury last month and refused to provide information by repeatedly invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In response, the Justice Department asked a federal judge to compel him to testify. Prosecutors argued Patel had no reasonable expectation that he would be prosecuted based on the kinds of questions they were asking, one of the people said, an argument the judge didn’t accept.
The immunity grant leaves the government only able to charge Patel, if at all, using information obtained independently of his immunized testimony.
Patel didn’t respond to a request for comment, and a lawyer for Patel declined to comment. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.
An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.
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