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

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces Correctional officers subpoenaed in Epstein investigation: report Nadler asks other House chairs to provide records that would help panel in making impeachment decision 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 DurbinSenate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility House panel investigating decision to resume federal executions To combat domestic terrorism, Congress must equip law enforcement to fight rise in white supremacist attacks 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 TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE

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