Graham says he won't ask McGahn to testify

Graham says he won't ask McGahn to testify
© Pool

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham warns Trump on Taliban deal in Afghanistan: Learn from 'Obama's mistakes' Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid Trump meets with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan MORE (R-S.C.) said Wednesday that he will not ask former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify before the Senate panel.

“I’m not retrying the case. I’m not calling McGahn. It is over,” Graham, an ally of President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE, told reporters on Wednesday afternoon.

Graham's comments came shortly after the Judiciary Committee wrapped up an hours-long hearing with Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrAttorney General Barr's license to kill Medical examiner confirms Epstein death by suicide Justice Dept. says Mueller report has been downloaded 800 million times MORE focused on the attorney general's handling of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report MORE's report.

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McGahn has emerged as a point of interest as lawmakers dig into the findings from Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign, as well as potential instances of obstruction of justice by the president.

In one "episode" of potential obstruction described by Mueller, Trump in 2017 ordered McGahn to tell Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWhy the presumption of innocence doesn't apply to Trump McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing Rosenstein: Trump should focus on preventing people from 'becoming violent white supremacists' MORE to get rid of the special counsel. But McGahn refused, warning that he would rather resign.

In a subsequent episode described by Mueller, Trump last year tried to get McGahn to deny that he ever asked the White House counsel to help fire Mueller.

Barr acknowledged during the hearing Wednesday that he has objections to McGahn testifying publicly to Congress about his interactions with Trump.

Asked by 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.) if Barr had “any objections” to McGahn testifying, as House Democrats have demanded, the attorney general said he did, noting that McGahn was a “close adviser to the president.”

Barr also denied that Trump had already waived executive privilege by allowing McGahn to speak to Mueller and for the special counsel's report to be publicly released without asserting privilege over any of its contents.

“No, we haven’t waived his privilege,” Barr stated.

Barr’s use of the word “we” created an immediate storm on social media, with critics arguing it highlighted how the attorney general has operated on the president's behalf.