White House 'Directed' Ex-Counsel McGahn Not To Comply With Congressional Subpoena

08 Mai, 2019, 08:47 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • White House 'Directed' Ex-Counsel McGahn Not To Comply With Congressional Subpoena

The White House on Tuesday directed former White House counsel Don McGahn to ignore a congressional subpoena seeking documents related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's final report.

"Where co-equal branches of government are making contradictory demands on Mr. McGahn concerning the same set of documents, the appropriate response for Mr. McGahn is to maintain the status quo unless and until the committee and the executive branch can reach an accommodation", Burck said in a letter to the Judiciary Committee.

The battle over McGahn's documents and testimony is expected to be the next front in the ongoing war between the White House and House Democrats.

McGahn, who left his post as White House counsel a year ago, was directed not to produce White House records sought in the subpoena issued by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, according to the current White House counsel, Pat Cipollone.

Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said that the department has "taken extraordinary steps to accommodate the House Judiciary Committee's requests for information" regarding Mueller's report but that Nadler had not reciprocated.

The White House is blocking former counsel Don McGahn from producing documents responding to the House Judiciary Committee's subpoena last month.

"The White House provided these records to Mr. McGahn in connection with its cooperation with the Special Counsel's investigation and with the clear understanding that the records remain subject to the control of the White House for all purposes", Cipollone wrote.

A lawyer for McGahn, William Burck, said he told his client to honor the White House request, unless the committee and Trump administration reach an agreement. At some point Graham may have to call Mueller to counter anything Jerrold Nadler uses from House testimony, at which point other Republicans might also rethink their current "move on" positions.

Tuesday's refusal was the latest in an escalating fight between Democrats and the Trump administration over investigations looking into Trump's behaviour and finances.

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Cipollone said McGahn "does not have the legal right to disclose these documents to third persons".

"Senator McConnell's declaration of "case closed" is a stunning act of political cynicism and a brazen violation of the oath we all take", Senator Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a joint statement. Mueller will eventually appear at a committee hearing controlled by Democrats, which means they're going to hear from Mueller whether they like it or not.

Trump also tried unsuccessfully to get McGahn to dispute media reports that the president had attempted to fire Mueller, the report said.

Trump, his three oldest children and the Trump Organization also have sued Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp to try to block them from responding to USA congressional subpoenas issued by Democrats seeking financial records.

Barr released a redacted version of Mueller's 448-page report last month.

Republicans in Congress have rejected the efforts of Democratic-led House committees as political gamesmanship meant to appeal to the Democratic Party's voting base ahead of the 2020 election.

Mueller's report states that his investigation could not establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump team and Russian Federation.

Mueller did not conclude that Trump committed obstruction of justice, but did not exonerate him either.

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