Trump Ex-Counsel McGahn Ordered by Judge to Testify to Congress
The House impeachment inquiry shifts into a new phase next week with a public hearing in the Judiciary Committee where President Donald Trump will be invited to present his defense, according to Chairman Jerrold Nadler.
The hearing aims to explain the constitutional framework for impeachment and the term “high crimes and misdemeanors” as well as whether Trump’s actions as detailed in the evidence gathered so far warrant articles of impeachment, Nadler said Tuesday in a letter to Trump, notifying him of the process.
Nadler, a New York Democrat, gave Trump a deadline of 6 p.m. Dec. 1 to say whether he or his attorney plans to participate. The hearing is scheduled for Dec. 4.
“The president has a choice to make: he can take this opportunity to be represented in the impeachment hearings, or he can stop complaining about the process,” Nadler said in a statement. “I hope that he chooses to participate in the inquiry, directly or through counsel, as other presidents have done before him.”
The letter to Trump said the president’s counsel can make a request to question a panel of as yet unnamed witnesses who will discuss the constitutional basis for impeachment.
Committee officials who briefed reporters wouldn’t discuss the timetable for possible additional hearings, or when the Judiciary Committee might wrap up its work and possibly send any articles of impeachment to the House floor for a vote.
The officials also said no decision has been made on whether to call any of the witnesses who’ve already appeared at the Intelligence Committee’s public hearings or press for testimony from administration officials who so far have refused to appear in the impeachment inquiry.
The Justice Department on Tuesday asked a federal judge to put on hold her ruling compelling former White House Counsel Don McGahn to appear before the Judiciary Committee in response to a subpoena issued in May while the administration pursues an appeal of that decision.
Another judge in Washington is considering former Trump national security aide Charles Kupperman’s request for a ruling on whether he must obey a House subpoena or the president’s prohibition on testifying.
Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said Monday in a memo to House colleagues that his committee expects to transmit a report on its impeachment investigation of Trump to the Judiciary Committee soon after this week’s Thanksgiving recess.