Background: Former White House Counsel Don McGahn was involved in some of Trump’s most obvious obstructive moves regarding the Russia investigation: Trump tried to use McGahn to get rid of Mueller. Trump tried to get McGahn to put it in writing that Trump hadn’t asked him to get rid of Mueller. McGahn said no to both. McGahn decided not to testify before the House Judiciary Committee despite a subpoena, so the Committee went to court.
Yesterday: The House Judiciary Committee requested an expedited ruling on cross motions for summary judgment in Judiciary v. McGahn. (After hearing oral arguments October 31, the District Court judge, Ketanji Brown Jackson, had said she would be busy with another case for two weeks, but that if requested, could provide an expedited oral ruling afterwards.)
Also yesterday, the judge responded (see bottom of this page) that the Court plans to issue its Memorandum Opinion and Order on or before next Monday, November 25.
The Judiciary Committee request notes:
As part of the House’s impeachment inquiry, the Committee is continuing to investigate instances of misconduct recounted in the Mueller Report, including episodes in which McGahn was involved.
No surprise there. To include consideration of Trump’s obstruction of justice regarding Russia in the current impeachment process, it is helpful if McGahn testifies soon.
Something new has come up in the last two weeks: The Roger Stone trial concluded with Stone found guilty on all seven counts. The House Judiciary Committee request cites Rick Gates’ testimony from the Stone trial (my emphasis):
In addition, recent evidence produced in the criminal proceedings against former Trump Campaign advisor Roger Stone indicates that President Trump may have provided false statements in his written answers to the Special Counsel’s office. Compare Mueller Report App. C-18–C-19 (denying any recollection of conversations with Stone about WikiLeaks and any awareness of Stone discussing WikiLeaks with other campaign officials), with Tr. of Jury Trial Day 5 at 939-40, 946, United States v. Stone, No. 19-cr-18 (D.D.C. Nov. 12, 2019) (testimony of former deputy campaign manager Rick Gates describing a phone call between Trump and Stone at the conclusion of which Trump informed Gates that more releases of stolen emails would be coming); id. at 938 (testimony from Gates that Trump was kept “updat[ed]” on information Stone conveyed to other campaign officials).
It is good news that Judiciary is still focusing on Trump’s obstruction of justice regarding Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
It is also good news that the committee is paying attention to Trump’s apparent perjury.
Ketanji Brown Jackson is the DC District Court judge who should be ruling first on a question of required testimony under a congressional subpoena: The McGahn case was the first case. Additionally, she is not a Trump appointee like her colleagues Trevor McFadden and Carl Nichols.
Judge Jackson graduated Harvard Law, where she was a supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review, after graduating magna cum laude from Harvard-Radcliffe.