Political News

Biden administration begins negotiating over Don McGahn testimony to House, new court filing says

Posted February 17, 2021 9:13 p.m. EST

— The Biden administration says it is talking with the US House of Representatives about a possible compromise over the Judiciary Committee's long-standing request to interview former White House counsel Don McGahn under subpoena about former President Donald Trump's attempts to obstruct the Russia investigation, according to a new court filing.

The shift is one of the most significant signs of change thus far in how the executive branch under President Joe Biden may grapple with Trump's years-long standoff with congressional investigations. The Trump administration prevented sharing of executive branch information subpoenaed by the Democratic-led House and blocked witnesses from the administration from testifying against the then-President.

The Justice Department indicated the shift in a new court filing on Wednesday night.

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear arguments next week about the House's ability to enforce the subpoena of McGahn in court.

But the Justice Department, which represents McGahn because of his role as a former administration official, is asking to postpone those arguments for at least a month and a half.

"The new Administration wishes to explore whether an accommodation might be available with respect to the Committee's request," Justice Department lawyers wrote in the filing to the appeals court. "Discussions among the relevant parties have begun, and the new Administration believes the parties would benefit from additional time to pursue these discussions. ... It is in the interest of all concerned to allow sufficient time and opportunity for the Branches to seek a compromise in this case."

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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