Judge rules Trump can't block subpoena of his financial records by Congress

22 Mai, 2019, 16:42 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Don Mc Gahn directed not to testify to Congress

The US House Judiciary Committee chair has said on live TV his panel will hold former White House counsel Donald McGahn in contempt for not testifying, after the White House directed him not to.

At least five members of Pelosi's leadership team - four of whom also sit on the House Judiciary Committee, with jurisdiction over impeachment - pressed Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a closed-door leadership meeting to allow the panel to start an inquiry, which they argued would help investigators attain documents and testimony that Trump has blocked.

McGahn's refusal to appear before the Judiciary Committee was the most recent in a growing list of ways the White House has frustrated investigations by the Democrat-controlled House.

"This conduct is not remotely acceptable", Nadler said, referring to the White House's instruction to McGahn not to appear.

"It is simply not fathomable that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a president for reasons including criminal behavior would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct - past or present - even without formally opening an impeachment inquiry", he maintained, specifically adding, "President Trump can not block the subpoena to Mazars".

A hip-hop loving Indian-American Judge is at the center of a political and constitutional storm after he rejected President Trump's request to quash a Congressional subpoena for his (Trump's) financial records. According to investigators, McGahn threatened to resign when the president ordered him to have Mueller fired.

The Oversight Committee's subpoena was motivated by the testimony of Micahel Cohen, Mr. Trump's former fixer and personal attorney.

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They say a formal impeachment inquiry could give Democrats more standing in court, even if they stop short of a vote to remove the president. When asked whether the Democrats were shifting toward impeachment, she answered "no", boasting "we don't have division". Other Democrats in the meeting siding with Raskin included David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California and the freshman Colorado representative Joe Neguse.

In the hours after the discussion, Pelosi and Nadler met privately.

She said the Mueller report on Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign had described evidence of obstruction of the investigation by the executive branch, adding that the report had pointed directly to Congress as the body to take action.

The White House also says that people on Trump's staff can not legally be compelled to testify - an argument that Nadler disagrees with. It is one of several actions against current and former members of the administration as Trump has said he will fight "all of the subpoenas".

Mehta said at the time that financial records from Trump's long-time accounting firm would be part of a "proper subject of investigation" by Congress, appearing to side with Democratic lawmakers seeking more oversight of the president.

The White House has seven days to appeal the verdict.

Attorney General William Barr, the top United States law enforcement official and a Trump appointee, on May 2 snubbed the same committee, which later voted to hold him in contempt of Congress for not handing over a full, unredacted Mueller report.

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