'Our subpoenas are not optional': Nadler on McGahn's no-show

'Our subpoenas are not optional': Nadler on McGahn's no-show

Donaldson was a top aide to former White House Counsel Donald McGahn, who on Tuesday defied a subpoena from the committee to testify.

"Our subpoenas are not optional", Nadler said. "We are a legislative one", Collins said. If the subpoena is upheld, Trump would be legally obligated to provide these records to Congress, paving the way for deeper investigations into Trump's finances and the Trump Organization.

McGahn was a key figure in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, describing ways in which the president sought to curtail that probe. "Agreeing with the Democrats" contention that they need the records because they are examining whether ethics and disclosure laws need to be strengthened, Judge Mehta said in a a 41-page ruling the justification was sufficient to make the subpoena valid.

Nadler said that if McGahn doesn't "immediately correct his mistake" in not showing, the committee will have to enforce the subpoena.

"Congress plainly views itself as having sweeping authority to investigate illegal conduct of a President, before and after taking office". A contempt vote is not expected until June, as lawmakers are scheduled to leave town for a weeklong recess.

Pelosi has summoned them to a meeting Wednesday to assess strategy.

"We are now at the point where we must begin an impeachment inquiry". But some members, several of whom have spoken publicly about a need to be more aggressive with Trump, are increasingly impatient. Shortly afterward, Nadler said "it's possible" when asked about impeachment hearings. "Trump obstructs everything. A president who thinks he's king, accountable to nobody & above the law is absolutely unacceptable", wrote Jayapal. But both the Washington Post and Politico have reported on dissent within Pelosi's caucus, particularly among Democratic members of the House Committee on the Judiciary, and some of that disagreement is now spilling over into the public eye: The committee's second-ranking Democrat, Mary Gay Scanlon, announced on May 21 that "the time has come to start an impeachment inquiry", and Rep. Jamie Raskin of both the judiciary and oversight committees argued in the Post that "the logic of an impeachment inquiry is pretty overwhelming at this point".

Nadler, in a letter to McGahn Monday evening, argued that the former White House counsel isn't shielded from testifying about the episode of obstruction detailed in the Mueller report, and said the White House counsel did not formally invoke executive privilege. The committee decides whether the resolution and its allegations of wrongdoing by the president merit a referral to the full House for a vote to launch a formal impeachment inquiry.

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Earlier this month, House Democrats questioned an empty chair when Attorney General William Barr failed to appear, citing odd demands from Democrats.

Still, Burck encouraged the committee to negotiate a compromise with the White House, saying that his client "again finds himself facing contradictory instructions from two co-equal branches of government".

"I think if you look at the Mueller report, it was very clear there was no collusion and no corruption". The special counsel didn't file obstruction-of-justice charges.

"It is simply not fathomable that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a President for reasons including criminal behaviour would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct...", DC District Court judge Amit Mehta wrote, citing precedents from the 1800s to Watergate (a Richard Nixon scandal) and Whitewater ( from the Clinton era). Trump has mused about instructing Republicans to cease dealing with the firm, which is deeply intertwined in Washington with the GOP, according to one White House official and a Republican close to the White House not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

"The immunity of the President's immediate advisers from compelled congressional testimony on matters related to their official responsibilities has always been recognized and arises from the fundamental workings of the separation of powers", the department's opinion reads.

"That is a privilege that has always been recognized and if a White House counsel is not a senior advisor, I don't know who is", he said.

However, the Justice Department advised the White House that McGahn is immune to Nadler's subpoena. I'm not sure the president is on such strong ground.

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