House General Counsel: President's Impeachment Defense Fundamentally Contradicts DOJ's Arguments in Courts
Washington, January 24, 2020
Tags: Government Oversight
Washington, D.C. – Last night, as part of the House Judiciary Committee's lawsuit to compel former White House Don McGahn to testify before the Committee, the General Counsel to the House of Representatives informed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that the Trump Administration is taking positions during the President’s impeachment trial that fundamentally contradict what it has argued to the court. When the House sued to enforce its subpoena to McGahn, the Trump Administration claimed the court had no authority to resolve the case, arguing that involvement by judges in a “purely political dispute” threatens “permanent harm” to the judiciary. The Trump Administration made similar claims in another suit by the House to obtain grand jury material from Special Counsel Mueller's report.
The General Counsel sent two letters yesterday to inform the court that the President’s attorneys have reversed course during the impeachment trial—and are now faulting the House for not pursuing more such litigation. The letters state the President’s new position “undermines DOJ’s contrary threshold arguments” in the cases and urge the court to resolve both appeals promptly. The House won both cases in district court in October and November.