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McGahn Can't Dodge Testifying, Judge Rules

'No one is above the law,' federal court decision says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2019 6:10 PM CST

(Newser) – House Democrats won a court victory Monday in their battle with the Trump administration over subpoenas, when a federal judge ruled that Don McGahn must testify before Congress. The administration had argued that the former White House counsel had "absolute immunity" from legislative summons, the Hill reports. "No one is above the law," Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote in her decision, per NPR. While saying that McGahn is free to invoke executive privilege when questioned, Jackson said, "Absolute immunity from compelled congressional process simply does not exist." The administration is likely to appeal, per NBC, which could freeze the judge's ruling for now.

McGahn had been ordered by the administration to not cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry. Democrats want to question him about possible obstruction of justice by President Trump connected to the Russia investigation. John Bolton, a former national security adviser to Trump, is among the potential witnesses who could be affected by Jackson's decision. Bolton had refused to testify before the House until a federal court ruled on the separation-of-powers struggle between Congress and the White House. Jackson said a president "does not have the power to excuse" an aide from complying with the law. (The Trump investigation isn't over yet, Adam Schiff says.)

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