House Democrats on Tuesday asked a federal judge for an expedited ruling on whether former White House counsel Don McGahn should abide by their subpoena to testify, citing the ongoing impeachment inquiry.
Lawyers for the House Judiciary Committee filed a motion arguing that there’s an urgent need for McGahn’s testimony as the impeachment inquiry also looks into whether President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE lied to former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE.
"As part of the House’s impeachment inquiry, the Committee is continuing to investigate instances of misconduct recounted in the Mueller Report, including episodes in which McGahn was involved," the panel’s lawyers wrote in the filing.
“Since the Committee filed its initial motion in August, its need for McGahn’s testimony has become even more pressing,” they added.
Part of the inquiry is focused on whether Trump lied when he told special counsel investigators that he had had no conversations with his associate Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneRoger Stone served with Capitol riot lawsuit during radio interview Lawyer for 17 Jan. 6 defendants says he's been released from hospital Democrats' Jan. 6 subpoena-palooza sets dangerous precedent MORE about WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign, at a time when the organization was releasing troves of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty MORE’s presidential campaign.
A jury last week convicted Stone of seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering in part because of his denial to the House Intelligence Committee that he had spoken with the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks.
Trump’s former deputy campaign manager Richard Gates, who signed a plea agreement with Mueller’s office over fraud charges, testified during Stone’s trial that he had heard Trump speak on the phone with Stone shortly after WikiLeaks released its initial batch of DNC emails. After the call ended, Trump said that more would be coming from WikiLeaks.
The Trump administration has argued that McGahn has “absolute immunity” from congressional subpoenas as a close adviser to the president.
The Democrats issued their subpoena in April shortly after the release of the Mueller report but months before the impeachment inquiry was officially launched in September.