Former Trump White House aide John McEntee appeared on Friday before a grand jury on Trump-related investigations at the federal courthouse in Washington, DC.
McEntee had been subpoenaed by the Justice Department as part of its sprawling probe, a source familiar with the matter tells CNN. He identified himself when approached by a CNN reporter but was pulled away by his attorney. McEntee was spotted entering the grand jury room on Friday morning.
The Justice Department investigation, led by special counsel Jack Smith, is focused on efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to undermine the 2020 election results.
The grand jury has been meeting for weeks, but McEntee’s appearance marks the first public sign of activity in the new year since Smith returned to the United States from an overseas post as a war crimes prosecutor. Smith was appointed special counsel late last year.
A spokesman for Smith declined to comment.
McEntee worked as a personal aide for Trump and as the director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office. McEntee’s dual roles landed him in a number of small and potentially critical meetings around the election, shown during a lengthy and at times sprawling interview with the House select committee that investigated the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
As the Justice Department ramps up its investigations, McEntee may be able to shed light on Trump’s thinking around the 2020 election as well as provide information on how Trump handled government documents while in the White House.
When testifying to the House committee, McEntee recalled a meeting in the Oval Office on Vice President Mike Pence’s role in certifying the election, in which he said he was asked to look into precedent. McEntee also recounted in-person exchanges between Trump and Pence, in which he heard Trump say, “Michael, do the right thing,” and “Do what you think is right, Mike.”
McEntee also said he had witnessed Trump tear up documents after he was done with them.
At that time, McEntee said his legal fees were being paid by the Trump PAC.
This story has been updated with additional details.