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Former White House counsel Donald McGahn must comply with House subpoena, no one is "above the law", judge rules


<b>Former White House counsel Donald McGahn must comply with House subpoena, no one is "\ >President Trump’s top advisers cannot ignore congressional subpoenas, a federal court says, in a case with implications for the impeachment inquiry.
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U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of Washington found no basis for a White House claim that the former counsel is "absolutely immune from compelled congressional testimony," setting the stage for a historic separation-of-powers confrontation between the executive and legislative ­branches of the ­government. Trump blocked McGahn's appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, saying McGahn had cooperated with Mueller's probe, was a key presidential adviser, and could not be forced to answer questions or turn over documents. Judge Jackson disagreed, ruling that if McGahn wants to refuse to testify, such as by invoking executive privilege, he must do so in person and question by question. The judge ordered McGahn to appear before the House committee and said her conclusion was "inescapable" because a subpoena demand is part of the legal system – not the political process – and "per the Constitution, no one is above the law." McGahn's lawyer William Burck stated that Don McGahn will comply with Judge Jackson’s decision unless it is stayed pending appeal. George W. Bush nominated McGahn as a Republican-selected member of the Federal Election Commission in 2008. He is credited as having played a crucial role in loosening regulations on campaign spending. According to documentary footage in the 2018 film Dark Money, McGahn's brief period as incoming chair of the Commission ushered in a newly partisan rigor to the FEC whereby he and his two fellow Republican members formed an unprecedented lockstep voting block preventing any and all enforcement of FEC regulations. McGahn resigned from the FEC in September 2013. After leaving the FEC, McGahn returned to private practice.  He worked for the Jones Day law firm and the Koch affiliated Freedom Partners. McGahn served as Donald Trump's campaign counsel during his 2016 campaign. On November 25, 2016, McGahn was appointed White House Counsel by Trump. McGahn brought five Jones Day lawyers with him to the White House, and six more were appointed to senior posts in the Trump Administration. Jones Day has represented Alfa-Bank and done work for businesses belonging to a long list of Russian oligarchs, including Oleg Deripaska, Viktor Vekselberg, and Alexander Mashkevich. In June 2017, Trump asked McGahn to instruct top Justice Department officials to dismiss special counsel Robert Mueller. McGahn refused, instead threatening to resign. He left the Trump administration on October 17, 2018. It was reported that in spring 2018, Trump told McGahn that he wanted the Justice Department to prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey.

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Cathy Vikulchik 2019-11-26 at 02:34

Image Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson
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