Former White House lawyer defies Democrat-led House subpoena for Mueller docs

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The Justice Department said it could not release the document after Trump asserted executive privilege over subpoenaed materials. Following a day of drama that included Trump asserting executive privilege for the first time in his presidency, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee took the surprise step of issuing a subpoena to Donald Trump Jr to testify as part of its investigation into Russian election interference, U.S. media reported.

Mueller's 448-page report referred to conversations in June 2017 in which Trump called McGahn to tell him he should direct Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was overseeing the special counsel's probe, to remove Mueller because of alleged conflicts of interest.

McGahn emerged as a star witness in the Mueller report, a senior confidante who documented in real-time Trump's rage against the Russian Federation investigation and efforts to shut it down. The committee's chairman, Congressman Richard Neal, said he would decide by week's end whether to subpoena the returns or file a court challenge to try to force Mnuchin to turn over the secret annual documents.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, a former House Republican, directed McGahn not to produce the records, the letter said. He says the committee should instead direct its requests for such records to the White House. "This was a very grave and momentous step we were forced to take today", committee chairman Jerry Nadler said after the party-line vote.

"Now we proceed to the limited options that are left", he told reporters, saying he would choose between issuing a subpoena and proceeding directly to court. And in an interview previous year, Trump said a pardon for Paul Manafort, his former campaign chairman, wasn't off the table.

LEMON: The House Judiciary committee voting late this afternoon to hold the Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena to turn over the unredacted Mueller report and the evidence Mueller collected.

Senator Chuck Schumer of Unique York, the Democratic leader, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a joint assertion, blasted the speech as a "magnificent act of political cynicism and a brazen violation of the oath we all clutch".

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Asked whether classifying the current state of affairs as a "constitutional crisis" devalued leadership's restraint from advocating for impeachment, Pelosi said, "No, I think that what we want to do is get the facts".

Judiciary Democrats are concerned McGhan will miss the second deadline in the subpoena, their request for him to testify on May 21 - especially if the White House invokes executive privilege as it did over the panel's subpoena for the attorney general to provide the unredacted Mueller report and investigatory materials.

Democrats made their case that Congress was at a historic juncture as it confronts what they consider Trump's stonewalling of lawmakers' ability to conduct oversight.

On April 18 with the release of the redacted Mueller report, Barr said that Trump had declined the opportunity to request and further blacking out of the report.

Democrats are now lobbying to see the full Mueller report that's not redacted to mask classified and privileged information. The idea that the special counsel didn't do everything it could to nail Trump is ludicrous.

The committee says contempt proceedings could be postponed if Barr makes a "good faith" effort to resolve the dispute.

And Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana said the road ahead may be "messy" but Democrats must fight to "protect our democracy".

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