Nadler subpoenas former White House counsel McGahn after Mueller report

The Judiciary Committee chairman said the lawyer "is a critical witness to many of the alleged instances of obstruction of justice..."
File: In Review, Trump's White House Departures
Don McGahn, White House counsel, speaks during a discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, on Feb. 22, 2018.Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

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By Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., issued a subpoena Monday to President Donald Trump's former White House counsel Don McGahn for testimony and documents as part the panel's investigation into possible obstruction of justice by the president and others.

Nadler said in a statement that special counsel Robert Mueller's report indicates McGahn "is a critical witness to many of the alleged instances of obstruction of justice and other misconduct described in the Mueller report."

"The Special Counsel's report, even in redacted form, outlines substantial evidence that President Trump engaged in obstruction and other abuses," Nadler said.

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McGahn's testimony to Congress would 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," Nadler said.

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, blasted Nadler for "a stunning 36-item subpoena."

"Instead of looking at material that Attorney General Barr has already made available, Democrats prefer to demand additional materials they know are subject to constitutional and common-law privileges and cannot be produced,” Collins said.

While Mueller opted not to charge Trump with obstruction of justice, he laid out efforts by the president to tamper with witnesses and affect the investigation. The report said, for example, that Trump ordered McGahn to tell Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that "Mueller has to go."

"McGahn spoke with the President twice and understood the directive the same way both times, making it unlikely that he misheard or misinterpreted the President's request. In response to that request, McGahn decided to quit," the report said. "He called his lawyer, drove to the White House, packed up his office, prepared to submit a resignation letter with his chief of staff, (and) told (then-White House Chief of Staff Reince) Priebus that the President had asked him to 'do crazy shit.'

"McGahn ultimately did not quit and the President did not follow up with McGahn on his request to have the Special Counsel removed," the report said.

This is the second subpoena Nadler has issued in less than a week, with the last one being issued Friday for the full, unredacted Mueller report and its underlying documents.