McGahn skips House committee hearing

Clay Curtis
May 22, 2019

Recall: the House Oversight Committee subpoenaed Mazars USA for Trump's financial documents, including "Statements of Financial Condition".

McGahn's refusal to testify is the latest of several moves to block Democratic investigations by Trump, who has said his administration will fight "all of the subpoenas". The committee is determined to make Trump pay for obstructing their efforts to prove obstruction, pointing to the president's instruction to McGahn to ignore the subpoena as yet another impeachable offense and evidence that he has something to hide.

Speaker Pelosi has consistently rejected the idea, but House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) says the president isn't above the law.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders explained in a statement that the Justice Department "has provided a legal opinion stating that, based on long-standing, bipartisan, and Constitutional precedent, the former Counsel to the President can not be forced to give such testimony, and Mr. McGahn has been directed to act accordingly". And the House intelligence committee is expected to take a vote on a separate "enforcement action" against the justice department this week after Barr declined a similar request from that panel.

In a letter to McGahn released late Monday, Nadler objected to an order from the White House instructing McGahn not to testify, and to a Justice Department legal opinion stating that Congress can not force him to appear.

Pelosi will meet with top House Democrats Wednesday morning to discuss new strategies for investigating-and possibly impeaching-Trump. But Pelosi and other party leaders, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, are against an impeachment inquiry, even if it would aid them in obtaining the witness testimonies and documents they've subpoenaed.

Mazars became a target in the House investigation after former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen accused the President of fudging his wealth in an unsuccessful attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills football team and reduce his real estate tax burden.

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Nadler warned McGahn in a letter Monday night that he must testify.

Without a stay on the ruling, Mazar's could theoretically comply with any subsequent request from the House Committee to disclose Trump's financial records before an appeals court intervenes.

"I personally feel like we cannot tolerate this level of obstruction, that if we do, then we have lowered the bar to the point where any criminal can be president of the United States and that should be unacceptable to all of us".

One member of the committee is calling for an impeachment inquiry against the president to commence if McGahn does not testify Tuesday.

In the early days of Trump's presidency, few aides had more frequent access to him than Hicks, a public relations consultant that Trump hired into the White House from his daughter Ivanka's staff.

A Fox News poll shows 72 percent of Democrats support impeachment, with only 9 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Independents supporting impeachment. "So you can say.we need this information to carry out our oversight responsibilities and among them is impeachment".

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