House Aiming For McGahn Testimony As Part Of Impeachment Proceedings

White House Counsel Don McGahn watches Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27, 2018. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)
November 19, 2019 3:34 p.m.

Lawyers for the House floated in a court filing Tuesday the possibility that former White House counsel Don McGahn could testify as part of the impeachment proceedings, once those proceedings move to the House Judiciary Committee.

The possibility of McGahn’s testimony came up in a request to U.S. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson that she expedite her decision in the litigation surrounding the House’s subpoena of McGahn, which predates the current inquiry focusing on Ukraine.

Jackson held a hearing last month in the lawsuit, where the Trump administration is arguing the subpoena is not enforceable because McGahn, as a former top advisor, is shielded by an “absolute” immunity.

At the end of the hearing Brown noted that her opinion in the case might be delayed by a trial she was set to preside over. She said, if requested, she’s consider issuing an expedited order before she handed down a full opinion.

Tuesday’s filing was the House taking her up on the offer.

“As part of the House’s impeachment inquiry, the Committee is continuing to investigate instances of misconduct recounted in the Mueller Report, including episodes in which McGahn was involved,” the filing said, while noting that the
impeachment inquiry is proceeding rapidly.”

“The Judiciary Committee anticipates holding hearings after [the House Intelligence Committee’s] public hearings have concluded and would aim to obtain Mr. McGahn’s testimony at that time. Thus, there is an urgent need for final resolution of the matter now pending before this Court,” the filing said.

The filing echoed what House General Counsel Douglas Letter told an appeals court in a separate case Monday: that part of the House’s impeachment inquiry is focused on whether Trump lied to special counsel Robert Mueller.

Read the filing here.

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