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Judge temporarily stays McGahn's subpoena to testify

By Danielle Haynes
Judge temporarily stays McGahn's subpoena to testify
Former White House counsel Don McGahn received a seven-day stay in his requirement to testify before the House Committee on the Judiciary. File Photo by Saul Loeb/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 27 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday put a temporary hold on a ruling earlier this week requiring former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify before the House in its impeachment inquiry.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson issued an administrative stay of seven days in response to the Department of Justice's motion for a stay pending its appeal of the earlier ruling.

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On Monday, the judge denied efforts by the White House to block McGahn from testifying in the impeachment proceedings, writing that "presidents are not kings."

"However busy or essential a presidential aide might be and whatever their proximity to sensitive domestic and national-security projects, the president does not have the power to excuse him or her from taking an action that the law requires," Jackson wrote.

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Justice Department lawyers made the case that lawmakers cannot force by subpoena any member of the Trump administration.

House judiciary committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler subpoenaed McGahn in April before the impeachment proceedings were officially announced and filed a lawsuit in August seeking to compel his testimony after he defied the subpoena at Trump's direction.

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Trump announced McGahn's departure from the White House in August 2018, shortly after he shared details in the Muller report about the firing of former FBI director James Comey, Trump's desire to have Attorney General Jeff Sessions oversee the Russia probe and Trump's attempts to fire Mueller.

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The House Committee on the Judiciary on Tuesday scheduled its first official impeachment hearing for Dec. 4. The inquiry has largely taken place under the direction of the House intelligence, foreign affairs, and oversight and reform committees until now.

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