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McGahn Defies House Subpoena

Former White House counsel won't comply with Tuesday deadline
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2019 2:36 PM CDT
In this Sept. 4, 2018 file photo, White House counsel Don McGahn listens as he attends a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol...   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – Don McGahn won't be complying with the House Judiciary Committee's subpoena. The AP reports that the Trump administration ordered the former White House counsel to defy the subpoena, and Politico confirms that McGahn's lawyer said McGahn would not provide the documents the committee wants to review. The documents are related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, with which McGahn cooperated extensively. The committee gave a Tuesday deadline for the materials, but the White House argued in a letter to committee chair Jerrold Nadler Tuesday that they are subject to executive privilege. Because they are under White House control, McGahn has no "legal right" to them, the letter said, and any requests for the documents should be directed to the White House.

"The committee seeks to compel Mr. McGahn to produce White House documents the executive branch has directed that he not produce," McGahn's own attorney said in a separate letter to the committee. "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." The subpoena also demands that McGahn appear before the committee May 21; though the White House's letter only applies to the documents requested, the president has signaled he will try to block McGahn from appearing. It's not yet clear whether McGahn will indeed testify. (Also Tuesday, Mitch McConnell made his most significant comments yet on the Russia probe.)

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