The White House said Tuesday it would appeal a federal judge’s ruling ordering former administration lawyer Don McGhan to honor a subpoena issued by House Democrats for testimony in the ongoing impeachment inquiry.
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said that the ruling to force former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify “may not be sustainable.”
Conway told reporters at the White House that “nobody was surprised” by the ruling Monday from U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, and that the Justice Department will appeal.
“This is one judge, an Obama-appointed judge,” she said.
Brown overturned a half-decade’s worth legal understanding between the Executive and Legislative Branches regarding the latter’s authority to compel administration officials to provide congressional testimony.
The judge’s ruling undercuts and order from President Trump blocking McGahn’s cooperation with Congress.
The ruling said that ignoring a congressional subpoena is “an affront to the mechanism for curbing abuses that the framers carefully crafted for our protection.”
The president had invoked “absolute immunity” to shield witnesses from testifying in the Democrats’ impeachment probe.
If the ruling stands on appeal, then that will likely pave the way for House Democrats to compel additional administration officials to testify.
One of them, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, said he would not testify unless a court ordered him to do so.