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Chairman Nadler Statement on White House Blocking Former White House Counsel Don McGahn from Testifying on Evidence of Obstruction of Justice by President Trump

May 20, 2019

Washington, D.C. –Today, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) issued the following statement in response to the White House directing former White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn II to defy a subpoena for his testimony tomorrow as part of the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation into obstruction of justice, corruption, and abuses of power by President Trump and his associates: 

"The Mueller Report documents a shocking pattern of obstruction of justice.  The President acted again and again—perhaps criminally—to protect himself from federal law enforcement.  Don McGahn personally witnessed the most egregious of these acts.  President Trump knows this.  He clearly does not want the American people to hear firsthand about his alleged misconduct, and so he has attempted to block Mr. McGahn from speaking in public tomorrow.

"This move is just the latest act of obstruction from the White House that includes its blanket refusal to cooperate with this Committee.  It is also the latest example of this Administration’s disdain for law. This identical approach was rejected by a federal court in the Miers case, which held that even senior advisors to the President cannot simply refuse to appear in response to a congressional subpoena.  It is absurd for President Trump to claim privilege as to this witness’s testimony when that testimony was already described publicly in the Mueller Report.  Even more ridiculous is the extension of the privilege to cover events before and after Mr. McGahn’s service in the White House. 

"The Committee will convene as planned tomorrow morning, and Mr. McGahn is expected to appear as legally required."

116th Congress