The White House has directed one of its former legal advisers not to appear before a congressional committee to testify about the Mueller report.
The Department of Justice and White House both released statements on Monday arguing that Donald McGahn was under no obligation to give evidence.
The Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee had issued a legal order for Mr McGahn to testify on Tuesday.
Mr McGahn “cannot be forced to give such testimony”, the White House said.
The former White House counsel told special counsel Robert Mueller that Mr Trump tried repeatedly to thwart the US inquiry into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election.
Citing the justice department guidance, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said: “The former Counsel to the President cannot be forced to give such testimony, and Mr McGahn has been directed to act accordingly.”
Her statement added: “This action has been taken in order to ensure that future Presidents can effectively execute the responsibilities of the Office of the Presidency.”
- Five looming fights between Congress and Trump
- US attorney general faces House contempt vote
When US Attorney General William Barr was questioned about the matter by Senate Democrats, he said the president only suggested that Mr Mueller be “replaced” because of a perceived conflict of interest – and then instructed Mr McGahn to write a memo to correct inaccurate media reports.
Judiciary committee chairman Jerrold Nadler said last week that he was prepared to have his panel hold a contempt vote for Mr McGahn if he did not testify, ignoring the subpoena issued on 22 April.
“Mr McGahn is a critical witness to many of the alleged instances of obstruction of justice and other misconduct described in the Mueller report,” Mr Nadler said last month.
In a memo released on Monday, the justice department said the president’s former counsel did not have to testify.
US Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel said: “Congress may not constitutionally compel the President’s senior advisers to testify about their official duties.”
*This section only applies to third party rss feed users*
— Kashmir Broadcasting Corporation allows the use of RSS Feeds, but with our content usage we expect that credit is given, but in the event that it is not. This content policy annotation will act as a credit towards KBC (Kashmir Broadcasting Corporation) Please visit kbcchannel.tv for more news and articles — we can not justify what is written on a third party site, as the content can be altered to their specification, if something is not authentic as it should be please visit kbcchannel.tv and look for the original content. if it is no longer there then it can no longer be associated with Kashmir Broadcasting Corporation and if the content on a third party site has been altered to the point of offence or deemed inappropriate please report it to KBC via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or fill the submission form on kbc’s website: https://www.kbcchannel.tv/report-form/ with the details of the site and article heading — Thank You
Website — https://www.kbcchannel.tv/
FaceBook — https://www.facebook.com/kbcchanneltv
Twitter — https://twitter.com/kbcchanneltv
YouTube — https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV6TFLe3dGbavSYilnC2paQ
Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/kbcchanneltv/