President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he’s not inclined to let a key Mueller report witness testify before Congress, but a former Watergate lawyer says that’s not up to the president to decide.
“President Trump just makes things up,” former assistant chief counsel of the Senate Watergate committee David Dorsen said on CNN’s “New Day” on Friday. “We had total access to everything in Watergate. The idea that what’s going on now is unprecedented is just false.”
In a Fox News interview that aired Thursday night, Trump said that he doesn’t want to let former White House counsel Don McGahn testify in front on Congress about the contents on the Mueller report.
McGahn was a key witness in the report and provided hours of testimony for the special counsel. But as Dorsen pointed out, McGahn is now a private citizen: “It’s not for President Trump to decide whether he will let a witness testify.”
“There are equal branches of the government, and they could subpoena him and have him testify without the permission of the president,” Dorsen said on Congress. “I just think the president has an exaggerated view of his status and powers.”
Watch the video below:
President Trump says former White House counsel Don McGahn shouldn’t testify before Congress.
— New Day (@NewDay) May 3, 2019
House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) subpoenaed McGahn to testify before Congress, something both House and Senate Democrats have indicated they want to hear.
The Mueller report details an interaction between McGahn and Trump in 2017, wherein the president asked the White House counsel to fire Mueller.
McGahn was reportedly troubled by the request and soon resigned. In the report, former White House chief of staff Reince Prebius detailed McGahn’s first attempt at resigning.
From the Mueller report:
He called his lawyer, drove to the White House, packed up his office, prepared to submit a resignation letter with his chief of staff, told Priebus that the President had asked him to ‘do crazy s**t,’ and informed Priebus and Bannon that he was leaving. Those acts would be a highly unusual reaction to a request to convey information to the Department of Justice.
Now Democrats want to question McGahn under oath about his time at the White House and exactly what kind of “crazy s**t” the president wanted him to do.