Former White House counsel Don McGahn will not appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday despite a congressional subpoena demanding his appearance.
McGahn’s attorney William Burck wrote in a Monday letter to Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) that his client would comply with instructions from the White House to decline the appearance.
“Mr. McGahn understands from your prior correspondence that the Committee would vote to hold him in contempt should he not appear tomorrow and the House of Representatives may follow suit,” Burck wrote in the letter, which was obtained by The Hill Monday evening.
“While we disagree with the Committee’s position and hope it will instead seek an accommodation with the White House, Mr. McGahn also must honor his ethical and legal obligations as a former senior lawyer and senior advisor to the President. In short, it is our view that the Committee’s dispute is not with Mr. McGahn but with the White House.”
President Trump earlier in the day directed McGahn not to appear for the committee, citing a Justice Department legal opinion arguing McGahn is immune from congressional testimony.
The developments have further exacerbated tensions between the White House and Democrats in the lower chamber who are pursuing sweeping investigations into Trump and his administration.
In an earlier statement, Nadler characterized Trump’s instructions to McGahn as “the latest act of obstruction” by his White House. A spokesman for Nadler did not immediately return a request for comment on Burck’s letter Monday evening.
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