White House orders Don McGahn to defy House Judiciary subpoena

The West Wing is instructing former White House counsel Don McGahn to defy a subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee led by Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.

Documents related to the federal Russia investigation were due at 11 a.m., but McGahn’s attorney said he received an order from the White House Tuesday morning not to comply and that the Justice Department supports the move.

“This morning, I received the enclosed letter from current Counsel to the President, Pat A. Cipollone,” McGahn said. “In it, Mr. Cipollone explains that Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who I understand is custodian of documents for the White House, has directed that Mr. McGahn not produce the White House documents ‘because they implicate significant Executive Branch confidentiality interest and executive privilege.’ Mr. Cipollone’s letter goes on to note that ‘the Department of justice is aware of and concurs with this legal opinion.’”

White House officials indicated President Trump might exert executive privilege to block McGahn from cooperating, possibly setting him up for a contempt of Congress citation. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told ABC News in a podcast Tuesday, “I don’t anticipate that that takes place,” in reference to the Democrats’ subpoena. “We consider this to be a case closed and we’re moving forward to do the work of the American people,” she added.

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