President Trump on Tuesday tweeted his response to a federal judge’s order that former White House counsel Don McGahn must testify before Congress. McGahn, who emerged as a key figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, was subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee after the release of the Mueller report.
“No one is above the law,” U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote in a lengthy ruling issued late Monday. “Stated simply, the primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that Presidents are not kings.”
If upheld, the ruling could open the door for some of the president’s closest aides, including former national security adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, to testify in the current impeachment inquiry.
As expected, the Justice Department filed an appeal to the ruling on Tuesday morning.
“The D.C. Wolves and Fake News Media are reading far too much into people being forced by Courts to testify before Congress,” Trump tweeted. “I am fighting for future Presidents and the Office of the President. Other than that, I would actually like people to testify.”
The president said McGahn’s own lawyer “has already stated that I did nothing wrong.”
“John Bolton is a patriot and may know that I held back the money from Ukraine because it is considered a corrupt country, & I wanted to know why nearby European countries weren’t putting up money also,” Trump continued. “Likewise, I would love to have Mike Pompeo, Rick Perry, Mick Mulvaney and many others testify about the phony Impeachment Hoax. It is a Democrat Scam that is going nowhere but, future Presidents should in no way be compromised. What has happened to me should never happen to another President!”
The White House blocked current administration officials from testifying in the impeachment inquiry. Bolton and Mulvaney said they would wait for the judge’s ruling before deciding whether to comply.
At a press briefing, Pompeo was asked if he would consider testifying.
“When the time is right, all good things happen,” the secretary of state replied.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who is leading the impeachment probe, said Monday that it would be up to witnesses like Bolton and Mulvaney to voluntarily appear before investigators, but that their cooperation would not slow down the inquiry.
“We will not allow the president or others to drag this out for months on end in the courts,” Schiff said.
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