Barr on McGahn testimony: 'We haven't waived his privilege'

Attorney General William BarrBill BarrTrump administration awarding M in housing grants to human trafficking survivors Trump stokes conspiracy about Epstein death, stands by wishes for Ghislaine Maxwell Democrats' silence on our summer of violence is a tactical blunder MORE on Wednesday said it wasn’t clear that former White House counsel Don McGahn would testify to Congress, saying, “We haven’t waived his privilege.”

Barr’s use of the word “we” immediately created a storm on social media, with critics of Barr saying it highlighted how he has used his office as an extension of the White House.

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The remarks took place during an exchange between Barr and Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinThe Hill's Campaign Report: Who will Biden pick to be his running mate? Don't count out Duckworth in Biden VP race Schumer: Trump should want COVID-19 deal to help GOP election chances MORE (D-Ill.) during high-profile Senate Judiciary Committee testimony.

Barr told lawmakers that McGahn was a “close adviser to the president" when asked whether he objected to him testifying before Congress. 

“Do you have any objections" to McGahn testifying? Durbin asked. 

“Yes, I think he is a close adviser to the president,” Barr answered.  

Mueller's final report, a redacted version of which Barr released on April 18, detailed nearly a dozen instances in which Trump may have obstructed justice. McGahn's testimony to the special counsel was featured extensively.

Mueller wrote that Trump directed McGahn to have Mueller fired based on alleged conflicts of interest, which the former White House counsel refused to carry out.

Democrats have subpoenaed McGahn to testify publicly before the House Judiciary Committee later this month. The White House has signaled plans to potentially fight the subpoena by asserting executive privilege. 

When pressed by Durbin on whether McGahn should be allowed to testify, Barr answered it would ultimately be up to President TrumpDonald John TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary MORE

“That’s a call for the president,” Barr said.