House Committee Demands Trump White House Counsel Don McGahn Finally Testify
Former White House counsel under former President Donald Trump, Don McGahn, was blocked from testifying against Trump in his first impeachment trial. McGahn claimed that Trump ordered him to produce false records to end the Mueller investigation early. While the Trump White House blocked McGahn’s initial testimony, court documents indicate President Joe Biden‘s Justice Department may finally allow McGahn to testify before the House.
In a court filing Wednesday night, Biden’s Justice Department indicated the new White House may be open to negotiating a McGahn testimony. The House Judiciary Committee soon seconded the DOJ’s motion, but noted the potential for future stand-offs.
“Because the Biden Administration must coordinate with McGahn, the recipient of the subpoena and an official from the prior Administration, settlement discussions promise to be complex. It should be expected that the Biden Administration will also consult with former-President Trump regarding the possibility of a settlement,” the House Judiciary Committee wrote in their response to the DOJ on Wednesday. “That consultation will further complicate the discussions, and it seems likely that no global agreement will be reached.”
Arguments will be heard in D.C. appeals court next week to decide if McGahn will now be able to testify. McGahn is technically represented by the Justice Department, which filed a statement to the appeals court asking for additional time to pursue these discussions. “It is in the interest of all concerned to allow sufficient time and opportunity for the Branches to seek a compromise in this case,” the DOJ brief said. The DOJ recommended waiting a month and a half in order to build its case.
The House responded that “given this history and the already lengthy delays that have prevented the Committee from obtaining McGahn’s testimony, further delay in this case would be inappropriate. We appreciate the Biden Administration’s efforts to settle this case, and we have actively participated in those efforts. But we do not believe that postponing the argument will improve the prospect of a settlement or serve the interests of judicial efficiency or fairness to the parties.”
Further decisions will be made the appeals court judge, who will hear the case next week.