The White House will appeal a federal judge's ruling that former White House counsel Don McGahn must testify in front of House impeachment investigators. U.S. District Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson said her order "should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits" of keeping her ruling on a longer hold. The White House has directed current and former officials not to testify or provide documents sought in the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry.
"This Court holds that individuals who have been subpoenaed for testimony by an authorized committee of Congress must appear for testimony in response to that subpoena-i.e., they can not ignore or defy congressional compulsory process, by order of the President or otherwise", Jackson wrote in her opinion.
"Only once before in our Nation's history has an Article III court attempted to compel a close presidential advisor to appear and testify before Congress". The House Intelligence Committee is due to forward its findings from weeks of closed-door depositions and public hearings ahead of the Judiciary Committee hearings.
The Judiciary Committee Tuesday invited Trump and his lawyers to attend when it opens its impeachment inquiry next week but there has been no response from the White House to that invitation. The judge will continue to consider whether her ruling Monday should be kept on hold as he appeals.
Such holds, known as administrative stays, are often issued to give lawyers a change to file their appeals.
The Judiciary Committee opposed a Justice Department motion to stay Jackson's ruling throughout the appeals process.
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Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto (C) is escorted by Malaysian customs officials as she arrives court in Sepang on March 26, 2015. He said the scam had lasted a couple of years and Ms Exposto had even sent money to "Smith" before flying to Shanghai.
The department lawyers wrote in their filing on Tuesday that the judge's ruling was only the second in U.S. history requiring a senior presidential adviser to testify before Congress and that the dispute raises 'significant and hard separation-of-powers questions.' Separation of powers is a term that refers to the U.S. Constitution assigning different authority to the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the U.S. government.
McGahn was subpoenaed in April by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, a Democrat from the state of NY, for testimony and documents as part the panel's investigation into possible obstruction of justice by Trump and others.
McGahn's subpoena was issued in the Judiciary Committee's investigation into whether President Trump obstructed justice in trying to impede special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential election campaign.
Past year he said he himself would "love" to testify to special counsel Robert Mueller - something Trump never did, instead working with his lawyers to provide written answers to questions.
'When the time is right all good things happen, ' Pompeo said cryptically, with a smile.