Congress & the Courts -  "Presidents are not Kings" (140 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
From: Marci (marcinmin) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host11/26/19 8:28 AM 
To: All  (1 of 4) 



Former White House Counsel Don McGahn must honor a congressional subpoena and testify before Congress, a federal judge in the nation’s capitol ruled Monday.

U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled that McGahn, who played a major role in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report focused on Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, must appear before Congress in response to the subpoena, but can assert legal privileges during his testimony.

House Democrats began seeking McGahn’s testimony after the Mueller report went public, and his testimony is now being sought as part of an ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The Trump administration has tried to block him and other current and former administration officials from appearing before Congress. The administration quickly announced it would appeal and seek to block Jackson’s ruling that McGahn must honor the subpoena.

“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.”

  • Edited November 26, 2019 8:36 am  by  Marci (marcinmin)
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From: Marci (marcinmin) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host11/26/19 8:32 AM 
To: All  (2 of 4) 
 118862.2 in reply to 118862.1 

Wash Post:

November 25, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. MST

Former Trump White House counsel Donald McGahn must comply with a House subpoena, a federal court ruled Monday, finding that “no one is above the law” and that top presidential advisers cannot ignore congressional demands for information. The ruling raises the possibility that McGahn could be forced to testify as part of the impeachment inquiry.

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.

The House Judiciary Committee went to court in August to enforce its subpoena of McGahn, whom lawmakers consider the “most important” witness in whether President Trump obstructed justice in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

  • Edited November 26, 2019 8:36 am  by  Marci (marcinmin)

From: SanneM2411/26/19 11:59 AM 
To: Marci (marcinmin) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (3 of 4) 
 118862.3 in reply to 118862.1 

The decision will be appealed and it could be months before a final ruling.  McGahn can relax for now.


From: Marci (marcinmin) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host11/29/19 8:41 AM 
To: All  (4 of 4) 
 118862.4 in reply to 118862.1 


At least for now, former White House counsel Don McGahn won't have to testify to the House of Representatives.

After McGahn appealed a judge's ruling from earlier this week that he must speak to the House, the judge, Ketanji Brown Jackson, gave McGahn a temporary pause on his case on Wednesday. The judge will continue to consider whether her ruling Monday should be kept on hold as he appeals. The appeals court said Wednesday evening that it would hear arguments on January 3, and put its own temporary hold on McGahn's testimony.
The judge noted that her order Wednesday "should not be construed in any way" as an indication of whether she agrees his testimony should stay on hold during the appeal.
In the course of this week's hearings, McGahn's case has become one of the fastest moving and potentially consequential court challenges for President Donald Trump during the impeachment inquiry and for future presidencies. If the appeals court — and potentially ultimately the Supreme Court — decides it in McGahn's favor, the White House could have the authority to broadly stonewall congressional investigations and even a Senate impeachment trial. If McGahn were to continue to lose in court, as he did this week, the House could gain vast ability to force top administration officials to appear before it.
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