A federal judge has ruled that White House staff can be made to testify before Congress, rejecting the Trump administration’s claims of immunity. The ruling specifically compels former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify to an inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.
But it also has major implications for the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. The Department of Justice says it will appeal the ruling. The impeachment inquiry is trying to establish whether Mr Trump pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. The Trump administration has refused to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry and other Democrat-led investigations, directing current and former White House officials to defy subpoenas for testimony and documents.
Mr McGahn, who left his post in October 2018, was called to appear before the House Judiciary Committee in May to answer questions about the president’s attempts to impede the now-concluded Mueller investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election. But in her ruling, US District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said that “no one is above the law”.