Jerry Nadler: House Judiciary to go to court next week to enforce Don McGahn subpoena
Posted July 25, 2019 10:45 p.m. EDT
Updated July 25, 2019 11:18 p.m. EDT
CNN — House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler on Thursday said the House Judiciary Committee is "going to court" next week in hopes of enforcing a subpoena for White House counsel Don McGahn to testify before Congress.
McGahn, a key witness in the special counsel's report on obstruction of justice, was subpoenaed by the committee earlier this year but did not testify after the White House instructed him not to comply.
Appearing on "Anderson Cooper 360," Nadler said securing testimony from McGahn would mark an important step toward launching an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
"That's why we're going to court tomorrow in the first of a series of actions that we'll take in the next couple of days," he said. "When we've laid out the facts in front of the American people, then we'll proceed."
The special counsel's report, which was released in April, stated that in June 2017 -- after media reports indicated then-special counsel Robert Mueller was investigating whether Trump had obstructed justice -- Trump called McGahn at home and directed him to call the acting attorney general to say Mueller "had conflicts of interest and must be removed." McGahn declined to do so, deciding that he would "rather resign than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre."
Nadler called McGahn "the main fact witness" of the Mueller investigation and alluded to more legal action against the Trump administration from the House panel, stating the committee will be "filing others."
"You have to lay out the facts to the American people and it is very frustrating that the administration has systematically attacked the right of Congress to hold any administration accountable -- opposed all our subpoenas and we have to break that log-jam in order to layout the facts before the American people," he said.
The escalation from the House Judiciary Committee comes on the heels of Mueller's testimony before Congress Wednesday. The former FBI director offered mostly terse responses to pointed questions from lawmakers in an attempt to let his report guide his testimony.
"Even if it wasn't as dramatic as one might have hoped or thought it would be, that information is going to get out more and more," Nadler said of Mueller's testimony, "and simultaneously we will be pursuing our efforts to get the actual evidence in front of the American people."
CORRECTION: This story and its headline have been corrected to update when Nadler plans to go to court to enforce the subpoena for McGahn.