Judge rules Trump CAN'T stop Democrats' subpoena of his financial records

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President Donald Trump directed former White House Counsel Don McGahn to defy a congressional subpoena, citing a Justice Department legal opinion that McGahn would have immunity from testifying about his work as a close Trump adviser.

The committee's chairman, Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler, has threatened to hold McGahn in contempt of Congress if he doesn't testify. "Those principles apply to the former White House Counsel". McGahn is now barred from talking to Congress, the White House says.

The letter continued: "The department has long taken the position - across administrations of both political parties - that 'the president and his immediate adviser are absolutely immune from testimonial compulsion by a congressional committee'".

The announcement came a day before McGahn was due to appear before the House panel, which is investigating whether Trump illegally obstructed the Russian Federation probe.

In a letter to Nadler, White House counsel Pat Cipollone cited a Department of Justice (DOJ) opinion indicating that Congress can not compel senior advisers to the president to testify about their official duties.

McGahn was slated to appear before the House Judiciary Committee to provide testimony about key events detailed in the Mueller report that Democrats believe amount to obstruction of justice, some of which were based on McGahn's cooperation with the special counsel.

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Cummings said concerns were raised when Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, testified before the Judiciary Committee alleging that the president had altered the estimated value of his assets and liabilities in his financial statement.

"The White House plans to provide Mr. McGahn, who left the post past year, with a legal opinion from the Justice Department to justify his defying the subpoena", the publication's source claims.

That war, going back to before his election, has included the Obama administration spying on the 2016 Trump campaign, Obama officials submitting apparently fraudulent documents to a court to obtain spy warrants and Obama bureaucrats vowing to "stop" Trump from being elected and implement a back-up plan if the first plan failed.

In the short term, the effect of Trump's and Barr's decisions is to stop House Democrats from getting more grist for investigations built to follow up or build upon that completed by Mueller.

The letter explained that because "of this constitutional immunity, and in order to protect the prerogatives of the office of the presidency, the president has directed Mr. McGahn not to appear at the committee's scheduled hearing". McGahn, who gave more than 30 hours of testimony to the special counsel, was part of Democrats' efforts to conduct "a wasteful and unnecessary do-over" of the special counsel's investigation, Sanders said.

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