House panel subpoenas McGahn on Mueller inquiry

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WASHINGTON, April 22 (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler on Monday subpoenaed former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify before the panel in its investigation of possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump.

In a statement, Nadler, a Democrat, said the committee had asked for documents from McGahn by May 7 and for him to testify on May 21. An attorney for McGahn was not immediately available for comment.

A report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller publicly released on Thursday by the Justice Department said Trump asked McGahn to fire Mueller as he was investigating suspected Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and possible coordination between Trump campaign members and Moscow officials.

“Mr. McGahn is a critical witness to many of the alleged instances of obstruction of justice and other misconduct described in the Mueller report,” Nadler said.

Mueller’s report said that the 22-month investigation did not establish that the Trump campaign conspired with Russians but Mueller did find “multiple acts by the president that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations.”

The top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Representative Doug Collins, said it was premature to issue a subpoena.

William Barr, U.S. attorney general, center, speaks as Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general, right, and Ed O’Callaghan, principal deputy assistant Attorney General, listen during a news conference at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, April 18, 2019. Barr is set to release a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report today, and the document could leave everyone unsatisfied, President Donald Trump, lawmakers and the public. Photographer: Erik Lesser/Pool via Bloomberg

William Barr, U.S. attorney general, left, speaks as Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general, listens during a news conference at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, April 18, 2019. Barr is set to release a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report today, and the document could leave everyone unsatisfied, President Donald Trump, lawmakers and the public. Photographer: Erik Lesser/Pool via Bloomberg

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“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 in a statement.

Nadler said Mueller’s report “outlines substantial evidence that President Trump engaged in obstruction and other abuses.”

He said “it now falls to Congress to determine for itself the full scope of the misconduct and to decide what steps to take in the exercise of our duties of oversight, legislation and constitutional accountability.”

According to the Mueller report, Trump directed McGahn in June 2017 to tell the Justice Department’s No. 2 official, Rod Rosenstein, that Mueller had conflicts of interest and must be removed. McGahn did not carry out the order. (Reporting by Eric Beech and David Morgan; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Grant McCool)

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