WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he will oppose any attempt to subpoena his advisers to testify before the House of Representatives, which has opened an investigation to clarify whether or not he committed obstruction of justice within the framework of the so-called Russia probe.
Trump told reporters that the White House is “fighting all the subpoenas” before departing for Atlanta, where he was scheduled to participate in an event on the country’s opioid crisis.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Democrat Jerrold Nadler, on Monday subpoenaed former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify about some of the incidents described in the report on the Russia investigation prepared by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
McGahn had provided some 30 hours of testimony to Mueller and his team during the course of their investigation, and many of the incidents he described were quoted in the final report.
The subpoena comes as part of the efforts by Nadler’s committee to thoroughly investigate Trump’s possible obstruction of justice attempts, a matter about which the Mueller report is very suggestive but comes to no definitive conclusion.
Trump on Wednesday called the subpoena of McGahn “ridiculous” and said that the investigations are a ruse by the Democratic Party to harm his image in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.
“The only way (the Democrats) can luck out (and win the 2020 presidential election) is by constantly going after me on nonsense,” he said.
In an interview with The Washington Post published on Tuesday, the paper quoted Trump as saying: “There is no reason to go any further, and especially in Congress where it’s very partisan – obviously very partisan.”
In addition, the president in his remarks on Wednesday opposed the possibility of handing over his tax returns to Congress, despite the fact that the House, which is controlled by the Democrats, submitted a subpoena demanding access to them.
“Now, the House ... wants to know every deal I’ve ever done. Now, Mueller, I assume, ... checked my taxes, checked my financials – which are great, by the way,” Trump said on the White House lawn.
Democratic lawmakers are discussing whether or not to launch impeachment proceedings against Trump after the release last week of a partially redacted version of Mueller’s report on his investigation into whether the Kremlin worked with the Trump campaign to favor the mogul in the 2016 election.
Mueller’s report concludes that there was insufficient evidence for him to bring criminal charges regarding the numerous contacts between individuals linked to the Russian government and Trump’s campaign team, but it raised doubts about the president’s possible obstruction of justice in attempting to hinder or even shut down the probe.