The White House has ordered former counsel Don McGahn not to comply with House Democrats' subpoena demanding he testify

  • The Trump administration is instructing former White House counsel Don McGahn to not comply with a subpoena demanding he testify on Tuesday, according to the New York Times.
  • McGahn’s name appeared in the special counsel report on Russian election interference more than any other official.
  • The House Judiciary Committee is facing stonewalling from the White House on multiple fronts.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

Former White House counsel Don McGahn is not expected to appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday under orders from the Trump administration, despite a subpoena from Democrats.

McGahn was a central figure in the final report from the special counsel headed by former FBI Director Robert Mueller, making him a high priority witness Democrats want to hear from as they further their investigations.


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The Justice Department revealed in a letter Monday that McGahn does not have to comply with the subpoena demanding his testimony. McGahn could face being held in contempt of Congress if he does not participate on Tuesday.

“The Department of Justice has provided a legal opinion stating that, based on long-standing, bipartisan, and Constitutional precedent, the former Counsel to the President cannot be forced to give such testimony, and Mr. McGahn has been directed to act accordingly,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement. “This action has been taken in order to ensure that future Presidents can effectively execute the responsibilities of the Office of the Presidency.”

McGahn departed the White House late last year and returned to Jones Day, a powerful law firm with strong networks in the Republican Party.

McGahn not appearing before the committee will exacerbate already growing anger from Democrats in the House. Attorney General William Barr has refused to honour a subpoena for an unredacted special counsel report and the underlying evidence. As a result, the Judiciary Committee voted to hold him in contempt of Congress.

The repeated stonewalling from the Trump administration could prompt Democrats to ramp up pressure in other ways, including seeking jail time for individuals who continue to not play ball.

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