Trump could use executive privilege to stop former White House lawyer testifying to congress, Kellyanne Conway says

'It's always an option'

Dave Maclean
New York
Sunday 28 April 2019 16:53
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Donald Trump could use executive privilege to stop former White House lawyer testifying to congress

Donald Trump could use executive privilege to block former White House lawyer Don McGahn from complying with a subpoena from congress, Kellyanne Conway said on Sunday.

“(It) is always an option, it's always on the table,” said Ms Conway, a Trump aide, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper that the congressional grilling of the ex counsel amounted to “presidential harassment”.

The House Judiciary Committee served McGahn with a subpoena almost a week ago, as it investigated whether the president obstructed justice.

Mr McGahn is someone with a ringside view of Mr Trump’s efforts to undermine the Russia probe, details of which were outlined in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Ms Conway added that it’s Trump’s right to use executive privilege - an established move which allows members of the executive branch to resist subpoenas by claiming that withholding information is in the public interest.

Mr McGahn's testimony is still being negotiated with the committee, which has requested documents by May 7 and testimony by May 21.

The committee is likely to request interviews with several White House officials, so how the McGahn situation plays out will be a key test case for the committee’s clout.

Ms Conway added: "Those who are subpoenaing different individuals are trying to push aside the fact that we have an entire Mueller investigation that lasted 22 months, cost about $30m - that is the expansive, somewhat expensive, definitive and conclusive investigation.”

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