Judge: No blanket immunity for Trump aides
by Harvest Prude
Posted 11/26/19, 10:52 am
A federal judge ruled Monday that former White House counsel Don McGahn must comply with a subpoena from House Democrats. In a 120-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson rejected the administration’s argument that White House officials are exempt from testifying based on presidential immunity. “With respect to senior-level presidential aides, absolute immunity from compelled congressional process simply does not exist,” she wrote.
How will the ruling affect the impeachment inquiry? House Democrats may revive attempts to get other high-ranking officials to testify. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., called McGahn a “central witness” in his committee’s investigation into whether President Donald Trump obstructed special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. “Now that the court has ruled, I expect him to follow his legal obligations and promptly appear before the committee,” Nadler said. The Justice Department is appealing the ruling. But an attorney for McGahn said without a court-imposed stay, his client would comply with the subpoena.
Dig deeper: Read Kyle Ziemnick’s report in The Sift about Democrats voting to allow legal action against officials who resist subpoenas.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.