White House invokes executive privilege to stop former counsel Don McGahn from handing over documents to Congress.

By |2019-05-07T11:20:55-08:00May 7th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |10 Comments

Can you smell the panic? Because I certainly can. 

Courtesy of WaPo:

The White House on Tuesday invoked executive privilege to bar former White House counsel Donald McGahn from complying with a congressional subpoena to provide documents to Congress related to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation.

In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, White House counsel Pat A. Cipollone said McGahn does not have the legal right to comply with its subpoena for 36 types of documents — most relating to Mueller’s nearly two-year probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Rather, Cipollone argued the committee needed to send the request to the White House — and even hinted they would assert privilege to block the information.

“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,” he wrote. “The White House records remain legally protected from disclosure under long-standing constitutional principles, because they implicate significant executive branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege.”

The move will probably infuriate House Democrats, who were hoping to make McGahn their star witness as they seek to unpack the findings of the Mueller report — particularly regarding questions of whether Trump obstructed justice. Trump and his administration have thwarted multiple House probes into the report, the president’s businesses and efforts to obtain his tax returns, frustrating Democrats who said they are trying to conduct oversight.

McGahn’s attorney said that his client would not hand over the documents until Congress reaches some sort of agreement with the executive branch. 

Which essentially means “never.” 

Trump also lives in fear of congressional testimony by Robert Mueller according to the AP:

The president stewed for days about the prospect of the media coverage that would be given to Mueller, a man Trump believes has been unfairly lionized across cable news and the front pages of the nation’s leading newspapers for two years, according to three White House officials and Republicans close to the White House.

Trump feared a repeat — but bigger — of the February testimony of his former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, which dominated news coverage and even overshadowed a nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam.

Trump has long known the power of televised images and feared that Americans would be captivated by seeing — and hearing — Mueller, who has not spoken publicly since being named special counsel.

Trump is currently counting on Bill Barr to keep Mueller contained because he still works for the Justice Department, but that might not last much longer.

Courtesy of The Week:

Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel’s office, told The Hill on Monday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will leave the Justice Department “within the coming days.” Carr did not elaborate, and he used the same phrase a month ago. President Trump is pulling out all the stops to prevent Mueller from testifying before Congress. House Democrats have tentatively scheduled Mueller to testify on May 15, despite Trump’s efforts. Once Mueller leaves the Justice Department, though, Trump will have even less control over whether he testifies.

I get the feeling that Mueller really wants to testify and will not be denied much longer. 

And once he is sworn in the House Democrats may not even care about getting those documents from Don McGahn anymore. 

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10 Comments

  1. Paul May 7, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    With the Donnie Dotard administration getting more and more authoritarian, and the republicans walking in lockstep (or is that goose-step?), even if the SCOTUS says that Dotard must release the information and let the people testify, it is doubtful that Dotard would comply since he knows that the republican senate would never convict him if he was impeached by the house. Every day we are getting closer and closer to a constitutional crisis that might very well result in the end of our democracy.

    • anon May 7, 2019 at 6:38 pm

      There are enough powerful people in America who will uphold our Constitution and Democracy. Even some you wouldn’t expect.

    • Anon May 7, 2019 at 9:56 pm

      I guess that is why Russia is happy he is President. Try and recoup their ‘prior investments’ that ol Donny Brook lost.

  2. aNOn May 8, 2019 at 7:00 am

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/mueller-report-executive-privilege_n_5cd2e536e4b0a7dffccfb38a

    Trump “has asserted executive privilege over the entirety of the subpoenaed materials,” Attorney General William Barr wrote Wednesday in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.).

  3. anon May 8, 2019 at 7:44 am

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – “U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday said she believed that Attorney General William Barr should be held in contempt of Congress for not providing it with the full report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

    Pelosi, in an interview with The Washington Post, also said that “every single day” the Trump administration is obstructing Congress’ probes into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections.“Every single day the president is making a case” and “he’s becoming self-impeachable,” Pelosi said of President Donald Trump’s actions when asked about the possibility of him being impeached by the House. But she noted that impeachment also is “divisive” for the country.”

    https://www.politicususa.com/2019/05/08/u-s-house-committee-prepares-contempt-vote-against-barr.html

  4. anon May 8, 2019 at 7:56 am

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/05/rep-matt-gaetz-temper-tantrum-accuses-dems-of-attacking-barr-because-they-dont-have-the-guts-to-impeach-trump/

    “I have a bunch of my friends on the other side of the aisle that [sponsor] actual bills that would impact the lives of Americans [that should] get heard instead of this garbage,” Gaetz complained. “The Obama Administration ran an intel operation against the Trump campaign. [FBI agent] Peter Strzok opened it up, the dossier kept it going and now the Democrats need to get over it. I yield back.”
    ———————–

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/05/treasonous-hoax-trump-goes-on-tweeting-frenzy-as-house-judiciary-mulls-holding-barr-in-contempt/

    tinydjt tweet>“Everyone wants to know who needs to be accountable, because it took up two years of our lives talking about this Russian involvement. It proved No Collusion, & people want to trace it back to see how this all happened?” @ainsleyearhardt @foxandfriends TREASONOUS HOAX!
    7:38 AM – 8 May 2019

    Lisa Page

    Peter Strzok

    Hillary Clinton

    James Comey

    Loretta Lynch

    Barack Obama

    John Brennan

    Eric Holder

    LOCK THEM UP!

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/05/the-white-house-claims-executive-privilege-over-muellers-report-heres-what-happens-next/

  5. anonymous May 8, 2019 at 8:03 am

    “To his credit, Mr. Jordan has been second to none in asking for access to the material that we’re asking for… is he still supporting his own request for the committee and the Congress to be given access to the entire report and the information?”

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/05/watch-nadler-uses-jim-jordans-own-votes-to-slap-down-his-anti-mueller-rant-at-bill-barr-contempt-hearing/

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/05/sheila-jackson-lee-drops-the-hammer-on-absolutely-lawless-trump-administration/

    I can only conclude that the president now seeks to take a wrecking ball to the Constitution of the United States of America,”
    “For the first time in the history of the United States, a President is now exerting executive privilege over every aspect of life that the American people desire to have information,”

  6. OK May 8, 2019 at 8:34 am

    https://www.politicususa.com/2019/05/08/sarah-sanders-tells-congress-that-they-dont-need-to-see-the-full-mueller-report.html

    There could be a nugget in the redacted eight percent of the report, but what the White House is doing is hiding evidence of Trump’s potentially impeachable offenses.

    The president is in hiding, so Sarah Sanders was sent out to make an argument that is certain to lose in court.

    Not only does Congress need to see the report, but they will get the report once a judge settles this matter.

  7. Anonymous May 12, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Executive privilege doesn’t apply. But since when did that stop Trump.

    With every day we are moving more and more towards a Fascist State and Mitch McConnell is paving the way, thanks to Karl Rove who laid the groundwork.

Comments are closed.