Posts tagged with "Former White House Counsel Don McGahn"

Gag order? White House may invoke executive privilege to block McGahn testimony

April 25, 2019

President Donald Trump is considering invoking executive privilege to prevent former White House Counsel Don McGahn from testifying before Congress, a top adviser told The Hill in a report posted on April 24.

The move comes despite the fact that the president did not invoke executive privilege before McGahn spoke extensively with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team on as many as three occasions. Experts have said that POTUS cannot “revive” the executive privilege after it already has been waived.

“Executive privilege is on the table,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters. “That’s his right. There’s a reason our democracy and our Constitutional government allow for that.”

Such a move would escalate the political and legal battle between the White House and Congressional Democrats over House-led investigations in the aftermath of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia probe,l The Hill said.

Trump has signaled he will stonewall Democrats—saying there is “no reason” to cooperate with Congressional investigations into his administration, campaign, and businesses that he views as politically motivated.

The former White House counsel’s name was mentioned more than 150 times in the special counsel’s report, which was redacted in part. Trump is angry with McGahn, believing he was disloyal and helped paint a damaging picture of his presidency, according to a source with knowledge of his thinking.

The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed McGahn on April 22 to appear before the panel.

Research contact: @thehill

Whodunnit? House Judiciary Committee intends to find out

March 5, 2019

It reads like a whodunnit. On March 4, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) announced that he and his colleagues would investigate alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by President Donald Trump, his associates, and members of his Administration—among them, Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, David Pecker of American Media, former White House Counsel Don McGahn, Trump son-in-law and Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, Trump buddy Roger Stone; and the president’s sons, Eric and Donald, Jr.

As a first step, the committee has served document requests to 81 agencies, entities, and individuals believed to have information relevant to the investigation (see full list). 

“Over the last several years, President Trump has evaded accountability for his near-daily attacks on our basic legal, ethical, and constitutional rules and norms,” said Nadler.

“Investigating these threats to the rule of law is an obligation of Congress and a core function of the House Judiciary Committee,” he noted. “We have seen the damage done to our democratic institutions in the two years that the Congress refused to conduct responsible oversight.

“Congress must provide a check on abuses of power,” said the committee chairman. “Equally, we must protect and respect the work of Special Counsel [Robert] Mueller, but we cannot rely on others to do the investigative work for us.  Our work is even more urgent after senior Justice Department officials have suggested that they may conceal the work of the Special Counsel’s investigation from the public.

Nadler explained,“We have sent these document requests in order to begin building the public record.  The Special Counsel’s office and the Southern District of New York are aware that we are taking these steps.  We will act quickly to gather this information, assess the evidence, and follow the facts where they lead with full transparency with the American people.  This is a critical time for our nation, and we have a responsibility to investigate these matters and hold hearings for the public to have all the facts.  That is exactly what we intend to do.”

The Committee’s investigation will cover three main areas:

  • Obstruction of Justice, including the possibility of interference by the president and others in a number of criminal investigations and other official proceedings, as well as the alleged cover-up of violations of the law;
  • Public Corruption, including potential violations of the emoluments clauses of the U.S. Constitution, conspiracy to violate federal campaign and financial reporting laws, and other criminal misuses of official positions for personal gain; and
  • Abuses of Power, including attacks on the press, the judiciary, and law enforcement agencies; misuse of the pardon power and other presidential authorities; and attempts to misuse the power of the Office of the Presidency.

For the two years that the Trump administration has been in power, “in the absence of responsible oversight by the Republican Majority,” the House Judiciary Committee Democrats say that they have written—but received no response to—over 100 letters to the White House, the Administration, and House Republican Leadership documenting the failings of the Trump Administration and demanding accountability. With this investigation, they intend to finally get their questions answered.

Research contact: @RepJerryNadler