Trump's Ex-WH Counsel McGahn to Testify Next Week About Mueller Report Then-White House counsel Don Mcgahn in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill Sept. 27, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Jim Bourg-Pool/Getty Images)
By Brian Freeman | Tuesday, 25 May 2021 12:12 PM
Former White House counsel Don McGahn is set to testify before a closed-door House Judiciary Committee next week about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and accusations that former President Donald Trump obstructed justice, The New York Times reported.
The timing of the testimony was set after the Biden administration's Justice Department and the House reached an agreement earlier this month for the closed House Judiciary Committee testimony, according to NPR.
A transcript will be released of the testimony shortly after it concludes.
The committee first subpoenaed McGahn in 2019, after the Mueller report indicated he was aware of several allegations of obstruction of justice made against Trump, but the former president's administration prevented him and other key White House advisers from testifying.
McGahn, with the permission of President Joe Biden, agreed to testify, with the deal reportedly conditional on there not being any active legal challenge to his participation.
The Times reported last week that Trump lawyer Patrick Philbin said the former president decided against seeking a court order to block the testimony.
The deal also limits lawmakers to questions directly involving McGahn or info that was included in public portions of the Mueller report.
This means the Justice Department can assert executive privilege or McGahn can refuse to answer questions related to other topics, preventing Democrats from uncovering details McGahn might know about other alleged scandals during Trump's presidency, CNN reported.
If McGahn does finally testify, it will mark the conclusion of a two-year saga, according to The Hill.
A district judge denied the Trump administration’s arguments regarding White House immunity in November 2019, with the court ruling that "presidents are not kings" and ordering that McGahn comply with a subpoena.
The House, however, was then handed two losses by a three-judge panel — though those decisions were later vacated by the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Before all parties agreed on the closed testimony, the case had been set to be argued before the full circuit court for the second time on May 19.
At the time of the agreement earlier this month, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., issued a statement in which he said: "When the former president vowed to fight ‘all of the subpoenas’ aimed at his administration, he began a dangerous campaign of unprecedented obstruction. We begin to bring that era of obstruction to an end today… I am pleased that we have reached an arrangement that satisfies our subpoena, protects the Committee's constitutional duty to conduct oversight in the future, and safeguards sensitive executive branch prerogatives."
Although it is not clear what new information the committee hopes to get from the interview, The Washington Post reported, lawmakers have indicated they consider McGahn the "most important" witness in the Trump obstruction probe.
The Mueller report mentions McGahn more than 160 times.