2019-05-21 22:27:061 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Hope Hicks (Image source: Public domain)
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) is not messing around. He is not going to throw his hands in the air and not know what to do next when the White House and/or Justice Department blocks an inquiry. They called his bluff, and he has answered back time and time again.
He subpoenaed former White House counsel Don McGahn's notes, and that was turned down because of executive privilege. He subpoenaed McGahn himself, but the DOJ claimed that it wasn't legal. The former counsel, as promised, did not show up for his scheduled appearance Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee.
Nadler promised he was going to find a way to hold Donald Trump accountable while also indicating he may hold McGahn in contempt of Congress.
Later in the day he found a way to following up on his first promise. He subpoenaed McGahn's former chief of staff Annie Donaldson as well as former White House communications director Hope Hicks.
Hicks' subpoena includes a request for documents and her appearance at a public hearing on June 19, while Donaldson's seeks documents and her appearance at a deposition June 24. The documents are due by June 4.
Donaldson is known to have taken notes when McGahn exited meetings with Trump. The two subpoenas were actually prepared at the same time as McGahn's last month.
"As I said earlier today, the Judiciary Committee's investigation into obstruction of justice, public corruption, and abuse of power by President Trump and his administration will continue," said Nadler in a statement. He added once again that he will move to hold McGahn in contempt.
All of this is to get closer to the testimony that Special Counsel Robert Mueller included in his report. He stated that McGahn told investigators in interviews that Trump had asked him to remove Mueller as special counsel. When he refused and the news was leaked, he was told to lie to the press and say he didn't make that request. Again, he refused.
Two more subpoenas were authorized as well for former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former chief strategist Steve Bannon. However, those have not been issued as of this time.
Mueller also mentioned in the report that Hicks spoke about Donald Trump Jr.'s initial statement regarding the Trump Tower meeting being drafted. She had told investigators about her conversations trying to persuade Trump of the best strategy for dealing with disclosing Trump Jr.'s emails that set up the meeting.
Trump has already stated that no subpoenas to his current and former officials will be honored, and so far none of them have been. Some of these cases have begun to appear in court. Neither side appears ready to back down, with the investigation into Trump's possible obstruction just amping it up more.
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