A federal judge ruled Monday that former White House counsel Don McGahn must comply with a House subpoena – boosting a Democratic-run impeachment inquiry as a committee is already drafting a report that could lead to articles against the president.
U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled that McGahn, whose explosive clashes with Trump are catalogued in Robert Mueller’s 448-page report, must comply with a House Judiciary Committee subpoena.
After a week of public hearings, the House Intelligence Committee has begun work on a report it will send to Judiciary, which will draw up any articles of impeachment.
Other top officials, including former national security advisor John Bolton and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, have been watching the courts for direction as they navigate their own situations.
The Justice Department plans to appeal.
Jackson ruled in her 118-page decision that the Trump administration’s claim of absolute immunity ‘is baseless, and as such, cannot be sustained.’
‘Stated simply, the primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that Presidents are not kings,’ Jackson wrote.
‘This means that they do not have subjects, bound by loyalty or blood, whose destiny they are entitled to control. Rather, in this land of liberty, it is indisputable that current and former employees of the White House work for the People of the United States, and that they take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
‘Moreover, as citizens of the United States, current and former senior-level presidential aides have constitutional rights, including the right to free speech, and they retain these rights even after they have transitioned back into private life.’
The White House blocked McGahn from appearing, following the longtime Washington D.C. lawyer’s extensive cooperation with federal prosecutors during the Mueller probe.
McGahn has a key supporting role in the Mueller report, which describes President Trump’s efforts to fire Mueller as a potential obstruction of justice offense. McGahn told investigators Trump told him to secure Mueller’s removal, then write a memo stating that the president had never directed him to do so.
Source : DailyMail