Don McGahn, a Supreme Court win for Trump and one 'tough as nails' 82-year-old: The Morning Rundown

"Presidents are not kings": Federal judge rules former White House counsel must obey House subpoena.
Image: White House counsel Don McGahn on Capitol Hill in Washington on Aug. 21, 2018.
Justice Department lawyers had argued that as a former close adviser to the president, McGahn could not be commanded to appear before Congress. Jose Luis Magana / AP file

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By Petra Cahill

Good morning, NBC News readers.

"No one is above the law" — not even past or present White House officials, a federal judge said in her decision that a former White House lawyer must testify before Congress.

Here's what else we're watching today.


Trump can't stop White House officials from testifying, judge rules

A federal judge ruled late Monday that former White House counsel Don McGahn must obey a subpoena for his testimony issued by the House Judiciary Committee.

Federal District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote in her 120-page decision that "presidents are not kings."

Jackson added that "this means that they do not have subjects, bound by loyalty or blood, whose destiny they are entitled to control. Rather, in this land of liberty, it is indisputable that current and former employees of the White House work for the people of the United States..."

The Justice Department, which is representing McGahn in the lawsuit, said it will appeal the ruling.

House Judiciary Democrats said McGahn was their "most important witness" in the case to determine if President Trump obstructed justice in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

The decision may also have major implications for other White House officials who Democrats would like to testify in the impeachment probe — like former national security adviser John Bolton and others.


Supreme Court blocks subpoena for Trump financial records

While the McGahn decision may be a blow to the White House, the president had one win yesterday.

The U.S. Supreme Court late Monday blocked a House subpoena directing President Donald Trump's accounting firm to turn over several years' worth of financial documents, giving the president at least a temporary legal victory.

The court gave the president's lawyers until Dec. 5 to file their appeal, a sign the justices intend to move quickly.


CO2 in Earth's atmosphere hits record high, scientists say in ominous report

The concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere has reached a record high, according to a report released Monday by the World Meteorological Organization.

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The study found that the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from 2017 to 2018 was above the average growth rate over the past decade.

"There is no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline, in greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere despite all the commitments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change," WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement.

Children ride swings in a playground surrounded by smog in Lahore, Pakistan.K.M. Chaudary / AP file

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Plus


THINK about it

Robert Redford, the actor, director and activist, writes in an opinion piece that Trump's administration is an attack on everything America stands for.


Live BETTER

Want to lighten up your Thanksgiving feast without losing that delicious holiday flavor? Try these healthy(ish) recipes nutritionists love.


Quote of the day

"On behalf of the criminal justice system, and I’m sure this means very little to you gentlemen, I’m going to apologize."

Circuit Court Judge Charles Peters to Alfred Chestnut, Ransom Watkins and Andrew Stewart after they were exonerated in the death of a Baltimore teen after spending 36 years in prison.


One 'tough as nails' 82-year-old

An intruder picked the wrong 82-year-old to mess with.

On Monday, authorities in Rochester, New York, hailed octogenarian weightlifter Willie Murphy as "tough as nails" after she fended off a man who broke into her home last week.

Murphy, the World Natural Powerlifting Federation's lifter of the year in 2014, bravely fought the man off with a TV tray and a bottle of shampoo.

The grandmother, who was profiled on the "Today" show a year ago, said that her three-day-a-week workout routine at Rochester’s YMCA includes bench pressing, dead lifts and strict curls. But it does much more than just give her enviable biceps.

“It makes me be independent. When it snows in Rochester, guess who is [shoveling] the snow? Me!"

Shoveling snow and then some. Go Willie!


Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — drop me an email at: petra@nbcuni.com

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Thanks, Petra