President Donald Trump doesn’t want former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify before Congress, telling Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, “It’s done.”
“Congress shouldn’t be looking anymore,” Trump said in a Thursday-night interview. “This is all. It’s done.”
“Nobody has ever done what I’ve done,” he continued. “I’ve given total transparency. It’s never happened before like this. They shouldn’t be looking anymore. It’s done.”
McGahn, who spent 30 hours testifying be special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, featured largely in Mueller’s findings on potential obstruction of justice — which made up one of two volumes in Mueller’s full report on the Russia investigation.
According to Mueller’s report, the former White House counsel told Mueller that Trump had asked him to fire the special counsel, and later when news reports revealed that Trump had made that request, the president asked McGahn to write a memo denying it “for our records.” McGahn did not fire Mueller and threatened to resign; he also refused to write the requested memo.
Mueller did not make a determination on charges of obstruction of justice, saying, “if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.”
“Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment,” the report continues. “Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Though the Mueller chapter of investigations has ended, congressional inquiries have not. When it comes to the question of obstruction of justice, some argue that Mueller was leaving the question up to Congress to sort out, and not the Department of Justice, which declared shortly after the report was released that the president had not committed a crime.
Congress wants to call key players to testify, including McGahn and Mueller. Last week, House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler issued a subpoena for McGahn to testify.
“Mr. McGahn is a critical witness to many of the alleged instances of obstruction of justice and other misconduct described in the Mueller report,” Nadler said in a statement last week. “His testimony will help shed further light on the President’s attacks on the rule of law, and his attempts to cover up those actions by lying to the American people and requesting others do the same.”
This week, Attorney General William Barr, after testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, refused an invitation to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and did not produce an unredacted copy of the report for Congress.
Though senior Democratic lawmakers have not yet put impeachment on the table, lawmakers are investigating the Trump Organization’s finances, potential obstruction obstruction of justice, reports of improper issuance of security clearances, and more.
The Trump administration does not seem likely to cooperate, however.
“We’re fighting all the subpoenas — these aren’t like impartial people,” Trump said last week. “The Democrats are trying to win 2020. They’re not going to win with the people that I see. And they’re not going to win against me.”