Sunday, 18 August, 2019

Amit Mehta, federal judge, rules against Trump in subpoena dispute

Don Mc Gahn directed not to testify to Congress White House Says It's Blocking Don McGahn From Testifying In Congress
Patty Aguilar | 21 May, 2019, 02:59

In an opinion released Monday, the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel ruled that former White House counsel Donald McGahn is "not legally required" to testify to Congress on matters related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report.

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.

Nadler and his committee may vote soon to hold McGahn or others in contempt of Congress, too.

To support its decision, the White House provided a Department of Justice legal opinion.

Nadler and House Democrats are anxious to pursue Trump, demanding testimony from key witnesses mentioned in the Mueller report.

The decision comes at the beginning of what's expected to be a long legal slog between House Democrats and Mr. Trump - and the early victory is encouraging for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her team. Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney directed him to not comply because the White House said the information was subject to executive privilege.

McGahn was subpoenaed by Nadler last month and, under instruction by the White House, failed to meet an initial deadline to appear before the committee. "This testimonial immunity is rooted in constituional separation of powers and derives from the President's independence from Congress".

USA to roll out economic part of Mideast peace plan
Many believe that the long-delayed plan is already dead in the water, as the PA has severed ties with the USA administration. Jared Kushner , Senior Adviser to President Donald Trump , praised Bahrain on Sunday for hosting the workshop.

Google 'blocks Huawei from using apps on phones'
This is after the USA government added the Chinese tech company to its Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) blacklist. Google recently revealed its new Android Q operating system which is expected to be released later this year.

Trump outlines his 'strong pro-life' views on abortion
In public hearings a year ago , the idea of imposing import taxes on cars drew nearly no support, even from the USA auto industry. U.S. media have reported that President Donald Trump plans to delay a decision on auto tariffs by up to six months.

In its memo released on Monday, the justice department said the president's former counsel did not have to testify. It did not establish that the Trump campaign conspired with Russian operatives.

"Three previous opinions ... directly addressed the immunity of counsel to the president: Harriet Miers was a former counsel to President George W. Bush, Beth Nold was the current counsel to President Clinton, and Jack Quinn was the current counsel to President Clinton", the White House letter said. "Accordingly, the court will enter judgment in favor of the Oversight Committee".

Cipollone echoed the DOJ in his letter, writing that McGahn is "absolutely immune" from testimony and thus "the President has directed Mr. McGahn not to appear".

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.

"The special counsel received more than 1.4 million documents and hours and hours of interviews from White House officials, including more than 30 hours from former counsel to the President, Don McGahn".

McGahn, who Democrats hoped would become a star witness in their investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice, was subpoenaed to testify Tuesday morning.

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