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 GrahamMcConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate 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 TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants 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 BarrTrump rips Democrats for contempt vote: 'Republicans will remember' Trump rips Democrats for contempt vote: 'Republicans will remember' The Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle MORE focused on the attorney general's handling of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump 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 RosensteinGOP group urges Republicans to speak out on obstruction claims against Trump in new ad GOP group urges Republicans to speak out on obstruction claims against Trump in new ad Judiciary Democrats announce series of hearings on Mueller report 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 DurbinThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle The Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle Trump's border funding comes back from the dead 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.