A federal judge on Tuesday ordered Donald Trump adviser Kash Patel to testify before a grand jury investigating the handling of federal records at Mar-a-Lago, two people familiar with the investigation said.
D.C. District Court Judge Beryl Howell has granted Patel immunity from prosecution in connection with any information he provides to the investigation.
Patel’s grand jury appearance has not yet been scheduled.
The court’s decision is under seal, following a secret proceeding in October in which the Justice Department subpoenaed Patel to a grand jury. At the time, he refused to answer questions, citing the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination.
Patel’s attorney did not respond to CNN’s request for comment. Patel has not been charged with any crime.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on the development.
As CNN previously reported, Patel is one of the few advisers around Trump who could face legal jeopardy over the Mar-a-Lago situation after his presidency, according to court records and sources, although it’s unclear whether he will be a target of the Justice Department’s investigation.
He served as a national security and defense official during the Trump administration and this summer became one of Trump’s representatives to meet with the National Archives and the Justice Department as both agencies tried to remove classified records from his presidency. He said in an interview with conservative media that he personally saw Trump declassifying records before he left the presidency, and that Trump should be able to release classified information.
On October 13, Patel spent several hours in front of a grand jury in a US court in Washington, DC, sources told CNN at the time. During a CNN court appearance at the time, one of his attorneys, Stanley Woodward, declined to say what Patel’s case was and confirmed only that he was representing Trump’s counsel.
Weeks ago, Patel received a grand jury subpoena for documents that had anything to do with Trump’s handling of the records, sources previously told CNN.
Other witnesses were subpoenaed by the grand jury investigating Mar-a-Lago in August, including the FBI’s rampage around the August search date, a source said.
This story was updated Wednesday with additional details.