Don McGahn Rebuffed White House Request To Say Trump Did Not Obstruct Justice
According to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, the White House asked McGahn to make this statement just days after Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s full Russia inquiry report was released last month. Many pundits have suggested the Trump administration’s demands of McGahn amount to witness tampering and should be investigated properly:
BREAKING: White House officials asked Don McGahn twice in the past month to publicly say Trump didn’t obstruct justice. This is witness tampering. Obstruction of ongoing federal & Congressional probes. People need to go to prison over this & every other crime they’ve committed.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) May 10, 2019
Mueller ultimately found no evidence of collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign team and Moscow, but did strongly suggest that the president tried to commit obstruction of justice multiple times but failed because several members of his administration refused to carry out his orders.
“We did not perceive it as any kind of threat or something sinister. It was a request, professionally and cordially made,” said McGahn’s attorney William Burck of the White House’s request toward McGahn.
McGahn left the White House last fall amid reports that Trump asked him to thwart Mueller’s probe. The president allegedly softened his tone after McGahn threatened to resign.
Many House Democrats, like Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California) are now threatening to hold McGahn in contempt if he doesn’t comply with subpoenas to testify publicly in the coming days:
If Don McGahn doesn’t appear before Congress on the 21st, “we’ll move to hold him in contempt,” says Rep. @tedlieu.
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) May 10, 2019