The House Judiciary Committee is set to question Donald Trump’s former White House attorney Don McGahn behind closed doors on Friday, two years after House Democrats originally sought his testimony as part. of the investigations into the former president.
The long-awaited interview is the result of a settlement reached last month in federal court. House Democrats then investigated whether Trump tried to obstruct Justice Department investigations into his presidential campaign ties to Russia, which originally filed a lawsuit after McGahn challenged an April 2019 subpoena on warrant from Trump.
That month, the Justice Department released a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the matter. In the report, Mueller deliberately did not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice, but also did not recommend prosecuting him, citing Justice Department policy against indicting a sitting president. Mueller’s report extensively cited interviews with McGahn, who described numerous instances of the Republican president’s efforts to quell the investigation.
While the panel ultimately won its fight over McGahn’s testimony, the court settlement almost guarantees that its members won’t learn anything new. The two parties agreed that McGahn will be questioned only about information attributed to him in publicly available parts of the Mueller report.
Still, House Democrats kept the case going, even after Trump’s presidency, and are moving forward with the interview to make an example of the former White House adviser. Panel Chair Jerrold Nadler said the agreement for McGahn’s testimony is a good faith commitment that “satisfies our subpoena, protects the Committee’s constitutional duty to conduct future oversight, and safeguards the sensitive prerogatives of the executive branch.” .
It is unclear what House Democrats will make of the testimony, which they sought before impeaching Trump twice, the first over the Ukraine scandal and the second after the January 6 insurrection. The Senate cleared Trump of impeachment charges both times.
As a White House attorney, McGahn had an inside look at many of the episodes that Mueller and his team examined for possible obstruction of justice during the Russia investigation. McGahn proved to be a pivotal and damning witness against Trump, with his name mentioned hundreds of times in the text of the Mueller report and his footnotes.
McGahn described to investigators the president’s repeated efforts to disrupt the investigation and the directives he said he received from the president that made him nervous.
He recounted how Trump had demanded that he contact Jeff Sessions, the attorney general at the time, ordering him not to excuse himself from the Russia investigation. McGahn also said Trump had implored him to tell Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at the time to remove Mueller from office due to perceived conflicts of interest and, after that episode was reported in the media, to publicly deny and falsely that claim. has ever been done.
Trump’s Justice Department fought efforts to get McGahn to testify, but U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson rejected Trump’s arguments in 2019 that his close advisers were immune from the congressional subpoena.
Joe Biden nominated Jackson to the Washington appellate court.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism