Former White House counsel Don McGahn must obey subpoena to testify before Congress, judge rules

Former White House counsel Don McGahn must obey subpoena to testify before Congress, judge rules

Don McGahn, then White House counsel, on Capitol Hill on Aug. 21, 2018. Jose Luis Magana / AP file WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled late Monday that former White House counsel Don McGahn must obey a subpoena for his testimony issued by the House Judiciary Committee , a decision that the Trump administration is certain to appeal. Justice Department lawyers had argued that as a former close adviser to the president, McGahn could not be commanded to appear before Congress. The government said the long-standing view, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, is that the president and his immediate advisers are absolutely immune to such demands. Administration lawyers cited a 1999 Justice Department legal opinion issued by Janet Reno, attorney general during the Clinton administration. “Subjecting a senior presidential advisor to the congressional subpoena power would be akin to requiring the president himself to appear before Congress” on matters related to his official duties, the Reno opinion said. The current White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, notified the House that President Donald Trump directed McGahn not to testify before the House “in order to protect the prerogatives of the office of the presidency.” House Judiciary Democrats said they wanted […]

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