Trump Wants McGahn To Defy House Subpeona

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A federal district judge has told the accounting firm Mazars it will need to turn over Donald Trump's accounting records from before he was President to the Democratic-controlled House Oversight Committee.

The House Oversight Committee claims sweeping investigative power and says it needs Trump's financial records to examine whether he has conflicts of interest or broke the law by not disentangling himself from his business holdings, as previous presidents did.

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The White House is also resisting House demands for former White House counsel Donald McGahn's records and testimony pertaining to federal investigations of Trump, as well as by testimony by Mueller himself over his recently concluded report on Russian interference in the 2016 USA election.

In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee earlier this month, White House counsel Pat Cipollone said McGahn does not have the legal right to comply with its subpoena for 36 types of documents - most related to Mueller's almost two-year probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

If McGahn were to defy Trump and testify before Congress, it could endanger his own career in Republican politics and put his law firm, Jones Day, in the president's crosshairs.

McGahn was a key witness in Mueller's probe, particularly into his investigation into whether the President obstructed justice. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

In a letter to Nadler, White House counsel Pat Cipollone cited a Department of Justice (DOJ) opinion indicating that Congress can not compel senior advisers to the president to testify about their official duties.

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Nadler added that the committee hearing will continue as scheduled on Tuesday and they expect McGahn to testify "as legally required".

"The White House provided these records to Mr. McGahn in connection with its cooperation with the special counsel's investigation and with the clear understanding that the records remain subject to the control of the White House for all purposes", Cipollone wrote earlier this month.

In its memo released on Monday, the justice department said the president's former counsel did not have to testify.

Mr McGahn was interviewed for 30 hours by Mr Mueller's team of investigators, and was frequently cited in their 448-page report, released in April.

A federal judge rejected a similar argument in 2008 in a dispute over a subpoena for Harriet Miers, who was White House counsel to George W. Bush.

Mehta, a U.S. District judge, was nominated to his position by President Barack Obama.

The House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Barr in contempt of Congress for not turning over Mueller's full report and its underlying evidence.