Trump blocks former White House counsel from testifying to Congress

Trump blocks former White House counsel from testifying to Congress

Legal experts quickly pointed out that the Justice Department opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel does not say McGahn, who left the job in October, can be barred from testifying voluntarily.

Nadler had described McGahn, who stepped down in October 2018, as "a critical witness to numerous alleged instances of obstruction of justice and other misconduct described in the Special Counsel's report".

The Trump administration is seeking to block former White House counsel Don McGahn from talking to Congress.

The White House is also resisting House demands for former White House counsel Donald McGahn's records and testimony pertaining to federal investigations of Trump, as well as by testimony by Mueller himself over his recently concluded report on Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

McGahn did not carry out Trump's order, the report said.

" The Democrats do not like the conclusion of the Mueller investigation - no collusion, no conspiracy, and no obstruction - and want a wasteful and unnecessary do-over".

Trump has denied asking McGahn to have Mueller removed. "Accordingly, Mr. McGahn is not legally required to appear and testify about matters related to his official duties as Counsel to the President".

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House Democrats have sought McGahn's cooperation as part of their investigation of possible corruption and obstruction of justice by Trump. It was not immediately clear whether McGahn could still appear in front of the panel, but decline to answer questions.

"So long as Congress investigates on a subject matter on which 'legislation could be had, ' Congress acts as contemplated by Article I of the Constitution", Mehta said in a 41-page opinion. It did not establish that the Trump campaign conspired with Russian operatives.

The report also described numerous attempts by Trump to impede Mueller's investigation, but stopped short of declaring the president had committed a crime. They've accused Trump and Attorney General William Barr of trying to stonewall and block Congress from carrying out its oversight duties.

Nadler's committee has been locked in multiple battles with the Trump administration over access to information contained in the Mueller report.

The Department of Justice advised the White House on Monday that Trump had the power to assert "immunity" to protect top advisers from delivering compelled testimony to Congress.

"The immunity of the President's immediate advisers from compelled congressional testimony on matters related to their official responsibilities has always been recognized and arises from the fundamental workings of the separation of powers", the Justice Department's opinion reads.

In a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairmen Jerry Nadler earlier this month explaining McGahn's refusal to turn over the subpoenaed documents, his attorney said that McGahn "continues to owe certain duties and obligations to the President which he is not free to disregard".

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