President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that people were "reading far too much" into a federal judge's ruling Monday that former White House counsel Don McGahn must obey a congressional subpoena and testify before the House Judiciary Committee — a ruling that could also have implications for a host of Trump administration aides and officials who refused to testify before the House impeachment inquiry.
"The D.C. Wolves and Fake News Media are reading far too much into people being forced by Courts to testify before Congress," Trump wrote. "I am fighting for future Presidents and the Office of the President. Other than that, I would actually like people to testify."
The president added that his former national security adviser John Bolton, who said he would not testify before impeachment investigators until a similar lawsuit involving his deputy has played out, "is a patriot and may know" Trump did not do anything wrong by withholding nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine at the same time he was pushing for the country to investigate the Bidens and Democrats.
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"Likewise, I would love to have Mike Pompeo, Rick Perry, Mick Mulvaney and many others testify about the phony Impeachment Hoax," Trump wrote. "It is a Democrat Scam that is going nowhere but, future Presidents should in no way be compromised. What has happened to me should never happen to another President!"
Asked about Trump’s tweet, Pompeo told reporters, "When the time is right, all good things happen."
Trump's tweets come after U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in Washington ruled Monday that McGahn must obey a subpoena and appear before Congress, though he retains the ability to "invoke executive privilege where appropriate" during his appearance. The Trump administration has since appealed the ruling and asked it to be stayed.
"It is clear to this court for the reasons explained above that, with respect to senior-level presidential aides, absolute immunity from compelled congressional process simply does not exist," Jackson said in her ruling.
"Presidents are not kings," she added.
"This means that they do not have subjects, bound by loyalty or blood, whose destiny they are entitled to control," Jackson said. "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. ... "
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., praised the ruling, which came as the same question about White House immunity is pending before another judge on the federal district court in Washington in a lawsuit filed by former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman. The House withdrew its subpoena for Kupperman's testimony, but the case is continuing.