Trump Is Not a King. Court Orders Don McGahn to Testify

President Donald Trump. Photo: White House
President Donald Trump. Photo: White House

It is expected that Trump will face bribery and obstruction of justice charges detailed in the Mueller report and the ongoing Ukraine investigation.

By Rakesh Raman

A federal judge ruled Monday that the former White House counsel Donald McGahn – who has been evading appearance before Congress – must testify in the Russia probe that was conducted by former special counsel Robert Mueller.

McGahn is a key witness who has firsthand information about Donald Trump’s alleged attempt to derail Mueller investigation that concluded earlier this year.

Rejecting the White House’s claims of absolute immunity, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said in the judgment that the President “does not have the power” to prevent his aides from responding to congressional subpoenas. Trump’s Justice Department said it will appeal against the judgment.

“The Courts have been clear again in the McGahn case: the President’s insistence that he is above the law is an offense to our Constitution and to every American,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tweeted today.

In a statement released Monday, Pelosi added that the House will continue to conduct oversight for the people, upholding the separation of powers that is the genius of our Constitution and the cornerstone of our Republic.

Judge Jackson wrote in her judgment that in American history Presidents are not kings; so they do not have subjects, bound by loyalty or blood, whose destiny they are entitled to control. Citing a previous court ruling, Jackson said that McGahn can invoke executive privilege where appropriate.

“This Court holds that Executive branch officials are not absolutely immune from compulsory congressional process. Today, this Court adds that this conclusion is inescapable precisely because compulsory appearance by dint of a subpoena is a legal construct, not a political one, and per the Constitution, no one is above the law,” Jackson said in the judgment.

If Monday’s court ruling is upheld, it will allow Congress to call former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to testify in the ongoing Trump impeachment proceedings in the Ukraine bribery case.

Currently, an impeachment inquiry into Trump’s alleged attempt to take Ukrainian help to win 2020 election is taking place. It is expected that Trump will face bribery and obstruction of justice charges detailed in the Mueller report and the ongoing Ukraine investigation.

If Trump is not impeached and removed from the White House, there is a likelihood that he will win again in 2020 with Russian help.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications on different subjects.

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Rakesh Raman