Brief House Judiciary Committee hearing calls out absence of former White House lawyer Don McGahn

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PBS NewsHour / YouTube

The House Judiciary Committee convened a hearing on Tuesday morning that was supposed to include the testimony of former White House counsel Don McGahn. It did not. McGahn refused to attend after delivering a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler indicating that he had been ordered not to attend by Donald Trump. McGahn’s letter was accompanied by letters from current White House counsel Pat Cipollone claiming that as a former adviser to Trump, McGahn had complete immunity to congressional subpoenas, and a fresh ruling from the Department of Justice’s office of legal counsel stating that the House couldn’t use inherent contempt against McGahn.

”When this committee issues a subpoena,” said Nadler, “even to a senior presidential adviser, the witness must show up.”

With that background, Nadler opened the committee just long enough to read into the record statements about McGahn’s testimony to special counsel Robert Mueller to make it clear why his testimony is vital. Ranking Republican Doug Collins then followed up by stating the basic GOP-backed lies about the Mueller report: that it found “no collusion” (it didn’t) and “no obstruction” (it didn’t) and that the whole hearing was a waste of the committee’s valuable time.

Republicans then demonstrated their outrage over this “circus” and “total waste” by refusing to agree to adjourn the meeting and voting unanimously to keep it in session. Democrats voted them down, and it was over.

Nadler has already made it clear he will move forward to recommend a citation of contempt against McGahn.

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