WASHINGTON (AP) – Former White House lawyer Don McGahn will privately answer questions from the House Judiciary Committee in an apparent resolution of a long-standing dispute over his testimony, according to a court document filed Wednesday evening .
Democrats leading the committee have sought testimony from McGahn for two years as part of an investigation into a possible obstruction of justice by former President Donald Trump during Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Russia.
They continued their subpoena even after President Joe Biden took office in January.
Under a deal brokered by the committee and the Justice Department, McGahn will only be questioned about information attributed to him in the publicly available portions of Mueller’s report.
The date of the private interview has not been set. A transcript will be made public about a week later, according to the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals file.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, said the deal was a good faith compromise that “satisfies our subpoena, protects the committee’s constitutional duty to oversee in the future and protects the sensitive prerogatives of the executive branch ”.
Trump’s Justice Department had fought efforts to get McGahn to testify. U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in 2019 rejected Trump’s arguments that his close advisers were immune from congressional summons. Biden appointed Jackson to the Washington Court of Appeals.
The case has been brought to this court since Jackson’s decision. The full appeals court is expected to hear the case a second time next week.
The question is whether the House has the power, under the Constitution or federal law, to ask the courts to enforce a subpoena against a representative of the executive branch.
The administration and the House asked the court to cancel the hearing, preferring to reach an agreement rather than risk an unfavorable court ruling.