Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) announced the Committee has served a subpoena on former White House staff secretary Rob Porter for testimony on September 17, 2019. Subpoenas were issued this month for Corey Lewandowski and Rick Dearborn to also appear on September 17th. These witnesses were all involved in President Trump’s extensive efforts to obstruct the Special Counsel’s investigation.
Chairman Nadler released the following statement:
“As I’ve said before, any other American would have been prosecuted based on the evidence Special Counsel Mueller uncovered in his report. Rob Porter was prominently featured in the Special Counsel’s description of President Trump’s efforts to obstruct justice by directing then-White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire the Special Counsel, and then ordering him to lie about it.
“The Committee intends to hold hearings and obtain testimony over the coming months as part of its efforts to hold the President accountable as we move forward with our investigation into obstruction, corruption and abuse of power by Trump and his associates. This will help the Committee determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the President or other Article 1 remedies. No one is above the law.”
Rob Porter served as White House staff secretary from January 2017 to February 2018 (Report, Appendix B, B-8).
Trump directed Porter to tell Don McGahn to create a false record suggesting that Trump never ordered McGahn to fire Mueller. “The President told Porter that the article was ‘bullshit’ and he had not sought to terminate the Special Counsel. The President said that McGahn leaked to the media to make himself look good. The President then directed Porter to tell McGahn to create a record to make clear that the President never directed McGahn to fire the Special Counsel. Porter thought the matter should be handled by the White House communications office, but the President said he wanted McGahn to write a letter to the file ‘for our records’ and wanted something beyond a press statement to demonstrate that the reporting was inaccurate.” (Report, p. 115, Vol. II)
Porter told McGahn that Trump wanted him to create a false record and that the President said he would fire McGahn if he did not do it. The Report says that on February 5, 2018, “Porter spoke to McGahn to deliver the President's message. Porter told McGahn that he had to write a letter to dispute that he was ever ordered to terminate the Special Counsel. McGahn shrugged off the request, explaining that the media reports were true. McGahn told Porter that the President had been insistent on firing the Special Counsel and that McGahn had planned to resign rather than carry out the order, although he had not personally told the President he intended to quit. Porter told McGahn that the President suggested that McGahn would be fired if he did not write the letter.” (Report, p. 116, Vol. II)