House Stresses Impeachment Need In Request Court Not To Pause McGahn Ruling

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) (L) looks at his watch prior to a news conference on women’s rights April 30, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. ... WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) (L) looks at his watch prior to a news conference on women’s rights April 30, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Activists and Congressional Democrats joined Rep. Maloney in the news conference to call for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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November 27, 2019 9:47 a.m.

The U.S. House of Representatives asked a federal judge Tuesday not to put on pause her ruling backing the Judiciary Committee’s subpoena of Don McGahn, after the Justice Department requested the halt while the administration appealed the case.

In their request, lawmakers stressed their need for McGahn’s testimony in the “fast-moving” impeachment inquiry and said that putting on hold the ruling compelling his testimony would cost the House its opportunity to consider the evidence McGahn has to offer.

“McGahn is an eyewitness to some of the misconduct that the Committee is investigating,” the House claimed, later adding that “even if this case is not resolved in time for a House vote on impeachment, the need for prompt resolution of this case would remain critical given that the House Managers could potentially make use of McGahn’s testimony in the event of a subsequent trial in the Senate.”

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled against the Trump administration’s claim that an “absolute” immunity shielded McGahn, as a former top presidential advisor, from even showing up for compelled testimony. The administration promptly indicated that it would appeal her decision, and on Tuesday morning asked her to put it on hold for that appeal.

The administration also asked the appeals court on Wednesday morning to pause the judge’s decision. In the House filing, the lawmakers said that they had agreed to a seven day administrative stay for the court to consider the stay-pending-appeal request.

The administration pointed to the Harriet Miers case from the George W. Bush administration in arguing for a stay. In that case, a district court ruling compelling Miers’ testimony was put on hold by an appeals court.

“Unlike in Miers, McGahn’s testimony is relevant to an urgent impeachment inquiry,” the House said Tuesday evening.

“As the Committee has previously described, the Mueller Report made clear that McGahn has important information concerning President Donald J. Trump’s misconduct,” the filing said. “The Committee has been vigorously trying to obtain this information, which is of significant relevance to the House’s ongoing impeachment investigation.”

Read the filing below:

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