White House orders McGahn to defy House subpoena

  • by:
  • Source: The Hill
  • 07/31/2020
The White House has ordered former White House counsel Don McGahn not to turn over documents to Congress because President Trump may exert executive privilege to block their release.

Pat Cipollone, the current top White House lawyer, wrote a letter on Tuesday asking the House Judiciary Committee to go through the White House to request documents related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

“The White House provided these records to Mr. McGahn in connection with its cooperation with the special counsel's investigation and with the clear understanding that the records remain subject to the control of the White House for all purposes,” Cipollone wrote to Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Judiciary panel.

“The White House records remain legally protected from disclosure under longstanding constitutional principles, because they implicate significant executive branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege,” Cipollone added.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney gave the directive “not to produce” the records through a separate letter Cipollone sent Tuesday to McGahn’s attorney.
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