The Justice Department has requested a federal judge to hit pause on her ruling that will order Don McGahn, the former White House counsel, to appear before the House in the impeachment inquiry until the decision can go into appeal. Government lawyers have claimed that McGahn’s testimony could have a significant chance of prevailing over the current argument that prevents him from testifying.
The Washington federal judge, Ketanji Brown Jackson has issued an opinion on Monday that rejects the claims of the White House that McGahn is under immunity from subpoenas saying that nobody is above the law. Her decision speaks volumes as it says “Executive branch officials are not absolutely immune from the compulsory congressional process — no matter how many times the executive branch has asserted as much over the years — even if the president expressly directs such officials’ noncompliance”.
She then went on to say that Presidents are not kings as has been represented in the last 250 years of American history.
McGahn left the White House in October 2018 and has refused to show up at the House Judiciary Committee to testify in Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 Russian connection in the elections.
He ended up testifying for 30 hours to the investigators and described how the Trump administration tried to fire the then special counsel Robert Mueller.
The impeachment probe has begun from the Democrat side to investigate Trump’s alleged favor-asking from the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He requested Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden’s attempt to have a Ukrainian prosecutor fired and the corruption in the 2016 US elections
If McGahn were to testify, the Democrats would have the leverage to force other high-ranking Trump administration officials to appear, such as Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and the former National Security Adviser, John Bolton, and Vice President Mike Pence.