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Spurned again by Trump, House panel to meet with or without McGahn

FILE PHOTO: White House Counsel Don McGahn listens during the confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

Amid growing talk on Capitol Hill of impeaching President Donald Trump, the House of Representatives committee where such an effort would begin plans to hold a hearing on Tuesday with or without testimony from Don McGahn, the White House’s former top lawyer.

McGahn, who left his post in October, was told by the Trump administration on Monday to disregard a House Judiciary Committee subpoena demanding that he appear at the hearing to discuss the Russian election meddling investigation.

The Department of Justice issued a legal opinion saying McGahn did not need to appear, and late on Monday, McGahn’s lawyer, William Burck, wrote that his client would not testify before the committee unless the judiciary panel reached an agreement with the White House.

The committee’s Democratic chairman, Jerrold Nadler, made clear the hearing would go ahead regardless.

The White House’s open defiance of the committee follows a pattern of determined stonewalling of numerous congressional inquiries into Trump and his turbulent presidency.

Trump and most fellow Republicans in Congress dismiss the inquiries as political harassment ahead of the 2020 elections.


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