President Donald Trump ordered his former White House counsel Don McGahn Monday to ignore a subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee.
“The Department of Justice has provided a legal opinion stating that, based on long-standing, bipartisan, and Constitutional precedent, the former Counsel to the President cannot be forced to give such testimony, and Mr. McGahn has been directed to act accordingly,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement sent to reporters.
The White House letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler was signed by Pat Cipollone, the current counsel to the president, citing the Justice Department’s advice based on executive privilege.
“This action has been taken in order to ensure that future Presidents can effectively execute the responsibilities of the Office of the Presidency,” Sanders explained.
Nadler and House Democrats are anxious to pursue Trump, demanding testimony from key witnesses mentioned in the Mueller report.
The Trump administration argued that McGahn cooperated with the Mueller investigation, giving over 30 hours of interviews to the Special Counsel.
“The Democrats do not like the conclusion of the Mueller investigation – no collusion, no conspiracy, and no obstruction – and want a wasteful and unnecessary do-over,” the statement read.