Former White House Counsel
Trump claims McGahn is covered by broad presidential immunity and ordered the lawyer to spurn the committee’s subpoena in May, weeks after the release of Special Counsel
The ruling Monday by U.S. District Judge
Ultimately, an appeals court may decide whether Trump -- who vowed in April that “we’re fighting all the subpoenas” from Congress -- can claim broad immunity for people who used to work for him.
McGahn and other senior presidential advisers “do not have absolute immunity from compelled congressional process in the context of this particular subpoena dispute,” Jackson, a 2013 appointee of President Barack Obama, said in her 120-page ruling.
The Department of Justice “has failed to bridge the yawning gap between a presidential aide’s right to withhold privileged information in the context of his or her compelled congressional testimony (which no one disputes), and the President’s purported power to direct such aides to refuse to show up and be questioned at all,” the judge wrote.
The White House and Trump attorney
Attorneys for the House of Representatives have called McGahn, who left his White House post last year, “the most important witness, other than the president,” in the obstruction probe. The need for his testimony gained greater urgency with the start of the House’s separate impeachment inquiry over Trump actions involving Ukraine, the Judiciary Committee said in a Nov. 19 filing asking the court to expedite its ruling.
Trump lawyers argued that McGahn, as the president’s former legal adviser, was effectively his alter-ego and absolutely immune from being compelled to testify.
McGahn was a key figure in the White House when Trump fired
Jackson’s decision comes as another judge in Washington considers former Trump national security aide
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