Chairman Nadler Statement on Victorious McGahn Ruling
Washington, D.C. – Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released the following statement regarding the court’s favorable decision in Committee on the Judiciary v. McGahn rejecting President Trump’s claim that his senior aides are “absolutely immune” from appearing before Congress in response to valid subpoenas:
“I am pleased the court has recognized that the Trump Administration has no grounds to withhold critical witness testimony from the House during its impeachment inquiry. Don McGahn is a central witness to allegations that President Trump obstructed Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, and the Administration’s claim that officials can claim ‘absolute immunity’ from Congressional subpoenas has no basis in law, as the court recognized today.
“Now that the court has ruled, I expect him to follow his legal obligations and promptly appear before the Committee.”
Former White House Counsel Don McGahn was subpoenaed to testify before the Judiciary Committee on May 21, 2019. He is a central witness to multiple episodes of obstruction of justice by President Trump in regard to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
The day before McGahn’s scheduled appearance, the Trump Administration issued a legal opinion claiming he was “absolutely immune” from the Committee’s subpoena, and President Trump ordered him not to appear. After attempting to reach an accommodation with the White House for months, the Committee filed its lawsuit in August and sought an expedited ruling.
The district court’s decision today soundly rejected the Trump Administration’s claim that White House officials and former officials can ignore Congressional subpoenas based on claims of “absolute immunity.” As the court correctly recognized, this claim has no basis in the Constitution or in any case law. In fact, the only other court ever to have considered this issue reached the same conclusion.