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“The takeaway for me is that Jen Psaki said at the White House yesterday that she did not want to religious 17-month-old emails from Dr. Fauci, but today we have House Democrats on the Judiciary Committee religious the Mueller report.” he told reporters, according to C-SPAN.
Meanwhile, the Committee’s Democrats called Friday “a great day for overseeing Congress.”
Chairman Jerry Nadler said McGahn testified at “an extremely dangerous time in our nation’s history” and that by securing the testimony we “made it clear that the executive branch must respect our subpoenas”.
“There is no so-called ‘absolute immunity’ from testimony in Congress, and good investigators in Congress will ultimately secure their testimony,” Nadler said in a statement on Friday afternoon.
He added that two years was too long and that “the Trump era taught us that Congress can no longer rely on trustful cooperation with our committees.” He said he plans to move forward with legislation that will allow Congress to enforce their subpoenas in a more timely manner.
In 2019, the committee called McGahn to testify about Trump’s efforts to obstruct the Mueller investigation. Mueller’s report described a myriad of ways Trump applied for his dismissal, and many legal experts saw it as a detailed argument for accusing Trump of obstruction of justice. But out of consideration for a long-standing internal DOJ rule that rules out charges against incumbent presidents, Mueller did not recommend bringing such charges. The then Attorney General Bill Barr announced that Trump would not be charged.
Many Democrats saw the result as a farce. And they tried to hear from McGahn, the main witness to Trump’s efforts to stop Mueller’s investigation. But during the Trump administration, the Justice Department argued vigorously against McGahn’s testimony. The battle dragged on until this year when the Justice Department – now under the leadership of President Joe Biden’s appointee – reached an agreement with the Democrats in Congress and McGahn to allow his testimony, the New York Times reported.
The committee has announced that it will publish a transcript behind closed doors within seven days of its release.
McGahn’s testimony comes as criminal investigations into the former president and his staff gain momentum. In April, FBI agents ransacked the home and office of Trump’s former personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. They also confiscated the cell phone of another Trump attorney, Victoria Tönsing.
Meanwhile, the New York attorney general announced that the Trump Organization investigation had become a criminal investigation. Letitia James’ office reportedly sent attorneys to embed himself with Manhattan’s attorney, who is also conducting a criminal investigation into the president’s affairs. The prosecutor has appointed a grand jury as part of this investigation.
At the same time, Trump has cemented his place as the de facto leader of the Republican Party. Last month, Republicans in Congress removed MP Liz Cheney from the leadership for continuing to criticize the president for repeatedly lying about the 2020 election result. Trump is due to speak at the North Carolina Republican Party Conference this weekend.
Myah Ward contributed to this report.