U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler on Monday subpoenaed former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify before the panel in its investigation of possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump.
In a statement, Nadler said the committee had asked for documents from McGahn by May 7 and for him to testify on May 21. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report said Trump asked McGahn to fire Mueller.
“Mr. McGahn is a critical witness to many of the alleged instances of obstruction of justice and other misconduct described in the Mueller report,” Nadler said.
An attorney for McGahn was not immediately available for comment.
Meanwhile,Trump on Monday filed suit to keep U.S. lawmakers from obtaining his financial records, the first salvo in what promises to be an escalating legal battle with Democrats in Congress.
The suit seeks to block a subpoena issued by the Democratic chairman of the U.S. House Oversight Committee for information about Trump’s personal and business finances, alleging Democrats have launched “all-out political war” on Trump with subpoenas as their “weapon of choice.”
The committee’s subpoena sought eight years of documents from Mazars USA, an accounting firm long used by Trump to prepare financial statements, related to its investigation of allegations Trump inflated or deflated financial statements for potentially improper purposes.
Elijah Cummings, the House Oversight Committee chairman, issued the subpoena to the president’s accountant after Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified to Congress in February that Trump had misrepresented his net worth.
“Chairman Cummings’ subpoena is invalid and unenforceable because it has no legitimate legislative purpose,” Trump’s lawyers said in a filing, arguing it exceeded constitutional limits on the power of Congress to investigate.
“Its goal is to expose Plaintiffs’ private financial information for the sake of exposure, with the hope that it will turn up something that Democrats can use as a political tool against the President now and in the 2020 election,” they said.
In a statement on Monday, Cummings said there was no valid legal basis to try to block the subpoena and accused the White House of “unprecedented stonewalling” in refusing to produce a single document or witness to the committee.
“This complaint reads more like political talking points than a reasoned legal brief, and it contains a litany of inaccurate information,” Cummings said.
The filing was the first effort by Trump’s legal team to quash multiple investigations of Trump and his finances by Democratic-led committees in Congress. His lawyers made it clear they would resist those efforts.
“Democrats are using their new control of congressional committees to investigate every aspect of President Trump’s personal finances, businesses, and even his family,” Trump’s lawyers said.