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White House instructs Don McGahn to refuse to comply with congressional subpoena; Dems reportedly considering holding him in contempt

McGahn said he wants to wait until both sides come to an agreement before disobeying either order

Andrew Harnik/Pool via Bloomberg

The White House has instructed its former counsel, Don McGahn, not to comply with a House Judiciary Committee subpoena asking for documents related to special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Here's what we know

The committee, which is run by frequent Trump critic Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), had set Tuesday as a deadline for this request.

In a letter to Nadler on Tuesday, McGahn acknowledged that he had received the subpoena, and that "representatives from the White House Counsel's Office and the Department of Justice" had reviewed the requested documents.

McGahn said that he had received a "letter from the current Counsel to the President, Pat A. Cipollone." He said that Cipollone, had told him that White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who he said was "the custodian of documents for the White House" had told him not to give the documents to the committee "because they implicate significant Executive Branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege."

McGahn told the committee that he believed his only legal option "[w]here co-equal branches of government are making contradictory demands" is to "maintain the status quo unless and until the Committee and Executive Branch can reach an accommodation."

What else?

Also on Tuesday, Cipollone sent a letter to Nadler, telling him that McGahn "does not have the legal right to disclose these documents to third parties" and that the committee should "direct any request for such records to the White House, the appropriate legal custodian."

McGahn left the Trump administration in October.

The Washington Post reported that Democrats in Congress are considering holding McGahn in contempt of court if he refuses to comply.

One last thing…
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