White House lawyers intend to assert executive privilege over basically any administration official who is called to testify, according to the Washington Post. But in the case of McGahn, many legal experts believe the White House has an exceedingly weak case given how much of McGahn’s interview with special counsel Robert Mueller is already public. Additionally, executive privilege cannot be used as a way to hide misdeeds.
“This is a delay tactic that will ultimately fail,” tweeted former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. “Executive privilege has already been waived, given Don McGahn’s extensive statements to Mueller. Even if it was not, I expect courts would not permit executive privilege to be used to block McGahn’s testimony in this context.”
House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler agrees. “The moment for the White House to assert some privilege to prevent this testimony from being heard has long since passed,” Nadler said in a statement. “I suspect that President Trump and his attorneys know this to be true as a matter of law — and that this evening’s reports, if accurate, represent one more act of obstruction by an Administration desperate to prevent the public from talking about the President’s behavior. The Committee’s subpoena stands.”
McGahn can also simply choose to cooperate with Congress and provide testimony, as former acting Attorney General Sally Yates did when the White House tried to thwart her appearance by claiming executive privilege.
Looks like it’s time to see what McGahn’s made of: Will he side with Trump or will do his patriotic duty like Yates?
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