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Court Rules Against Trump on Ex-Counsel McGahn

House panel can move ahead with effort to make him testify
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 7, 2020 10:39 AM CDT

(Newser) – A federal appeals court in Washington on Friday revived House Democrats' lawsuit to force former White House counsel Don McGahn to appear before a congressional committee, per the AP. The full US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit voted 7-2 in ruling that the House Judiciary Committee can make its claims in court, reversing the judgment of a three-judge panel that would have ended the court fight. The matter now returns to the panel for consideration of other legal issues. The current House of Representatives session ends on Jan. 3. That time crunch means “the chances that the Committee hears McGahn’s testimony anytime soon are vanishingly slim," dissenting Judge Thomas Griffith wrote.

The Judiciary Committee first subpoenaed McGahn in April 2019 as it examined potential obstruction of justice by President Trump during Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Trump directed McGahn not to appear, and the panel filed a federal lawsuit to force McGahn to testify. McGahn was a vital witness for Mueller, whose report detailed the president’s outrage over the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. In interviews with Mueller’s team, McGahn described being called at home by the president on the night of June 17, 2017, and being directed to call the Justice Department and say Mueller had conflicts of interest and should be removed. McGahn declined the command, deciding he would resign rather than carry it out, the report said.

(Read more Don McGahn stories.)

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