President Trump has ordered former White House Counsel Don McGahn to not answer a Congressional subpoena in relation to his time in the White House. Fox News reports:
President Trump has directed former White House Counsel Don McGahn to skip a House Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday, citing a Justice Department opinion that he cannot be compelled to testify about his official duties.
In a statement released Monday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders blasted Democrats for continuing to pursue Trump investigations, saying they want a “wasteful and unnecessary do-over” in the wake of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe — and describing the subpoena for McGahn as part of that.
“The House Judiciary Committee has issued a subpoena to try and force Mr. McGahn to testify again. The Department of Justice has provided a legal opinion stating that, based on long-standing, bipartisan, and Constitutional precedent, the former Counsel to the President cannot be forced to give such testimony, and Mr. McGahn has been directed to act accordingly,” Sanders said. “This action has been taken in order to ensure that future Presidents can effectively execute the responsibilities of the Office of the Presidency.”
The related DOJ memo said McGahn, like other senior advisers to a president, has “immunity” from being compelled to testify about his official duties.
A President must be able to speak with his top advisers without fearing his private conversations will be disclosed to the Congress – especially when the White House Counsel is not a Senate confirmed official.