House Panel Seeks Rehearing Over White House Counsel Subpoena Fight

The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Friday asked a federal appeals court to reconsider a ruling that prevented the panel from compelling a former Senior White House lawyer to testify about his role in President Donald Trump’s efforts to impede the Mueller investigation.

In a court filing, House lawyers said that if the committee cannot enforce subpoenas, it is left only with drastic options such as trying to arrest people who refuse to testify. The lawyers wrote that “arrest and detention should not be a prerequisite to obtaining judicial resolution of the enforceability of a congressional subpoena.”

The Judiciary Committee had wanted former White House Counsel Don McGahn, who left his post in October 2018, to testify about Trump’s efforts to impede Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

In the earlier 2-1 ruling, a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Feb. 28 had agreed with the administration’s argument that the court had no legal role in settling a closely watched dispute between the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.

In doing so, the court reversed a district court judge and appeared to endorse an expansive view of presidential powers.

If the court grants the committee’s request, an expanded panel of 11 judges, the majority of them Democratic appointees, would rehear the case.

McGahn defied the subpoena in May. The committee sued to enforce it in August, a month before the House launched its impeachment inquiry against Trump centering on his request that Ukraine investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden and his son. The Democratic-led House impeached Trump in December. The Republican-led Senate acquitted him in February.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball, Lawrence Hurley and Jan Wolfe; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio)


  1. Once again the Judiciary Committee doesn’t understand how the law works. The lack of these attorneys that sit on said committee do not understand that subpoenas can be challenged, to the SCOTUS if need be, and try and use the threat of arrest is amazing. The left has lost it’s last brain cell.

  2. McGahn’s 30 hours of under oath testimony is outlined in Volume II of the Mueller Report. Congress and ANYONE that read the report is aware of what McGahn’s testimony is. He testified that Trump ordered him to fire Mueller. McGahn refused to comply and told members of the administration he would resign before firing Mueller. When McGahn’s testimony was leaked to the media, Trump ordered McGahn to write a memo contradicting his testimony and McGahn refused.

    Refusing to read the Mueller Report does not erase the contents. Refusing to believe the evidence does not make it disappear. Just as is the Starr Report, it is documentation of history to be studied by many future generations.

    1. Just so I understand, what is the reason for the committee to get McGahn to testify directly to them? Just to get his testsmony in the public record beyond Mueller’s filter? Is that their plan?

  3. Still chasing a dead end. What does this say about the lack of imagination and desperation of the Dims?

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