House Judiciary sues to force McGahn to testify

House Judiciary sues to force McGahn to testify

Jerrold Nadler, chairman of U.S. House Judiciary Committee, filed a civil lawsuit Wednesday to enforce a subpoena for testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn over his panel's probe into possible obstruction and other abuses of power by President Donald Trump.

"Given McGahn's central role as a witness to the president's wide-ranging potentially obstructive conduct, the Judiciary Committee can not fulfill its constitutional investigative, oversight and legislative responsibilities - including its consideration of whether to recommend articles of impeachment - without hearing from him", the lawsuit says.

McGahn was a vital witness for Mueller, who detailed the president's outrage over the investigation and his efforts to curtail it in his April report. Even though McGahn left the White House in October, he acquiesced to a White House instruction not to appear under a broad assertion of immunity.

"Their insistence on having Don McGahn testify publicly before the cameras further proves they are only interested in the fight and public spectacle of an investigation, but not actually in obtaining any real information", Representative Doug Collins, the panel's top Republican said in a statement.

The committee is requesting "emails sent to or received by Justice Kavanaugh, including emails on which he was a carbon copy or blind carbon copy recipient, during the period in which Justice Kavanaugh served as Staff Secretary, including any documents attached to such emails" and "the textual records contained in Justice Kavanaugh's office files from the period during which he served as Staff Secretary", according to the letter. McGahn declined the command, deciding that he would resign rather than carry it out, the report said. "Nevertheless it can't fulfill this most solemn constitutional accountability with out listening to testimony from a vital witness to these occasions: former White Home Counsel Donald F McGahn II".

FILE PHOTO: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reacts after signing the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 on Capitol in Washington, U.S., August 1, 2019.

Democrats are fighting the Trump administration in court on several other fronts.

Once that episode became public in the news media, the report said the president demanded that McGahn dispute the reports and asked him why he had told Mueller about it and why he had taken notes of their conversations.

The legal action comes at a time when more than half of House Democrats have said they support beginning an impeachment inquiry. And in two other cases, the administration has tried to stop financial institutions from turning over Trump's personal records to Congress.

"Judiciary Democrats failed in their attempt to relitigate the Mueller investigation, so now they're pivoting to attack a sitting Supreme Court Justice by reinvestigating issues examined during his Senate confirmation", Collins said.

House Democrats filed the lawsuit in federal District Court in DC, and a judge has not yet been assigned.

A letter signed by committee chairman Rep.

The committee did, however, reach an agreement with the White House to review documents from McGahn, which will be handled in the same manner that the committee is reviewing Mueller documents from the Justice Department, committee aides said. The request pointed to the materials from Kavanaugh's time as a staff secretary to President George W. Bush, which were not among the records requested by then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) when Kavanaugh's nomination was before his committee.

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