President Donald Trump indicated Thursday that he’s not willing to allow former White House counsel Don McGahn – a key figure in the Mueller report and Trump’s efforts to obstruct the investigation – to testify before Congress.
The President’s comments in a Fox News interview continue efforts by the White House to stonewall congressional Democrats’ inquiries both in regard to the special counsel investigation and other matters. Last week, Trump vowed to fight “all the subpoenas” issued by House Democrats investigating his administration, and Attorney General William Barr refused to appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday over a dispute about whether staff attorneys would be able to question him about the Mueller report.
“I’ve had him testifying already for 30 hours and it’s really – so I don’t think I can let him and then tell everybody else you can’t, ” Trump said Thursday. “Especially him, because he was a counsel, so they’ve testified for many hours, all of them, many, many, many people. I can’t say, ‘Well, one can and the others can’t.’ I would say it’s done.”
“We’ve been through this. Nobody has ever done what I’ve done. I’ve given total transparency,” he added. “(Congress) shouldn’t be looking anymore.”
On Sunday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that Trump could use executive privilege to block McGahn from complying with a congressional subpoena.
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Last Monday, the House Judiciary Committee served McGahn with a subpoena in its investigation into obstruction, asking that McGahn testify before the panel on May 21.
McGahn, who is featured prominently throughout the 448-page-long Mueller report, sat with the special counsel’s team last year for 30 hours, which at the time unnerved Trump, who didn’t know the full extent of McGahn’s discussions.
A central figure in the first two years of the Trump White House until he left in October, McGahn was a key player with direct knowledge about Trump’s efforts to undermine the Russia probe.
In his report, Mueller wrote Trump “called McGahn and directed him to have the Special Counsel removed,” which Trump has disputed.
CNN Betsy Klein, Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb contributed to this report.