Impeachment Part Two: More Evidence Against Donald Trump
The testimony of a key official in the White House could lead to a second impeachment proceeding against the U.S. president.
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As months pass in the impeachment of President Donald Trump, it seems that the desperate effort by the White House and the Justice Department to hide evidence is becoming more difficult.
And no wonder.
After the House of Representatives voted and passed two impeachment articles –one for abuse of power and one for obstruction of Congress– the evidence in the Mueller report is moving closer and closer to this new saga.
The document urges the court to "compel former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify" before the committee, which hopes his testimony will provide more evidence of the president's inappropriate behavior.
Almost immediately, the Justice Department introduced an argument to the court requiring it to "reject the House's attempt to compel McGahn to testify," arguing a "fraught suit between the political branches.”
For those who don’t remember what happened at the beginning of the year, when the new Attorney General William Barr terminated special attorney Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election –adding the president's alleged "exoneration" in the matter– one name seemed to be left hanging in the air: Don McGhan.
The former White House counsel, who resigned from his post after the report was published, was questioned by Mueller's investigators for more than 30 hours, and his name is mentioned in the report about 500 times, always around evidence suggesting that President Trump did his best to obstruct the investigation.
According to the report, which because of Justice Department policies could not accuse or suggest any legal proceedings against the president, Trump would have asked McGhan directly to fire attorney Mueller and prevent the investigation from continuing.
However, the White House's erratic stance in refusing to cooperate with the House investigation under the argument of "full immunity" for its officials prevented McGhan from testifying in the impeachment proceedings that now have two articles approved and awaiting submission to the Senate for a trial against the president.
Following the sentencing of District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson last November, the White House's argument has been overturned, which would give the green light to McGhan's long-awaited testimony before the Committee.
Jackson set out in more than 100 pages the legal precedent that dismisses any "expansive authority" of the president, and said bluntly: "the primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that Presidents are not kings.”
With this ruling, the committee's request and the Justice Department's opposition should be heard in oral arguments before the D.C. Circuit on June 3, The Hill reported.