Executive Privilege? White House Instructs Former WH Counsel Don McGahn to Withhold Subpoenaed Docs From House Dems
White House counsel Pat Cipollone has instructed former White House counsel Don McGahn not to comply with a congressional subpoena.
Cipollone wrote a letter to McGahn’s lawyer, William Burck instructing McGahn to withhold subpoenaed documents from the Dem-controlled House Judiciary Committee.
Mr. Cipollone also argued that President Trump has the right to invoke executive privilege.
“The White House records remain subject to the control of the White House for all purposes. The White House records remain legally protected from disclosure under longstanding constitutional principles, because they implicate significant Executive Branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege,” Cipollone wrote.
Read the letter (via Axios):
ABC News also obtained a separate letter Cipollone wrote to lawmakers on Tuesday where he argued that “McGahn does not have the legal right to disclose these documents to third parties” and asks that instead of directing the request for documents to McGahn’s attorney the committee direct the request to the White House.
In a letter to lawmakers obtained by ABC News, McGahn’s attorney says the White House has “directed McGahn not produce the documents “because they implicate significant Executive Branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege.”
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler last month subpoenaed former White House counsel Don McGahn to publicly testify this month.
Nadler said that Don McGahn is a “critical witness to many of the alleged instances of obstruction of justice and other misconduct described in the Special Counsel’s report.
McGahn cooperated and gave over 30 hours of testimony to the special counsel’s team.
According to Mueller’s report, President Trump asked Don McGahn to supposedly lie about reports that he ordered him to fire Mueller. Mueller was never even fired and Trump insists he never said anything like that to McGahn, but Nadler and the Dems are pursuing him anyway.
“The Special Counsel’s report, even in redacted form, outlines substantial evidence that President Trump engaged in obstruction and other abuses,” Nadler said. “It now falls to Congress to determine for itself the full scope of the misconduct and to decide what steps to take in the exercise of our duties of oversight, legislation and constitutional accountability.”
Mr. McGahn was requested to appear before the House Judiciary Committee on May 21st with a May 7 deadline to provide the panel with documents related to Mueller’s probe.