Democrats subpoena former White House counsel Don McGahn

PHOTO: White House counsel Don McGahn listens as Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 27, 2018.PlaySaul Loeb/AP, FILE
WATCH News headlines today: April 22, 2019

House Democrats have subpoenaed former White House counsel Don McGahn for his testimony before the committee and for documents related to their investigation into obstruction of Justice by President Donald Trump.

PHOTO: White House counsel Don McGahn listens as Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 27, 2018. Saul Loeb/AP, FILE
White House counsel Don McGahn listens as Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 27, 2018.

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"Following the scheduled testimony of Attorney General William Barr on May 2, 2019 and the expected testimony of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which we have requested, the Committee has now asked for documents from Mr. McGahn by May 7, and to hear from him in public on May 21," House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said in a statement. "Mr. McGahn is a critical witness to many of the alleged instances of obstruction of justice and other misconduct described in the Mueller report. His testimony will help shed further light on the President's attacks on the rule of law, and his attempts to cover up those actions by lying to the American people and requesting others do the same."

An attorney for McGahn did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The White House didn't return ABC News' request for comment.

McGahn was one of the central figures in the Mueller report who cooperated extensively with Mueller's probe, meeting with his team at least three times and questioned more extensively than any other member of the White House staff who went in for an interview.

Mueller had requested to speak with McGahn about the circumstances surrounding former FBI Director James Comey’s firing and his reported involvement in the event surrounding Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusing himself from the Russia investigation, the sources said.

ABC News previously reported that McGahn was among the White House staffers who were against any notion of President Trump’s firing of special counsel Mueller last June when the president wanted to do just that, a source said.

After news broke that Trump ordered McGahn to fire the special counsel, Trump pressured McGahn to deny that he had been directed to do so, even suggesting to aides that he would fire him unless he complied. Mueller concludes that there is evidence to suggest Trump acted this way to impede his investigation, according to the special counsel's report.

Mueller concluded that "Substantial evidence indicates that in repeatedly urging McGahn to dispute that he was ordered to have the Special Counsel terminated, the President acted for the purpose of influencing McGahn's account in order to deflect or prevent further scrutiny of the President's conduct towards the investigation."

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