Ever since the Mueller report was released and it was revealed that President Trump had ordered White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller (SPOILER ALERT: He didn’t), the House Democrats have been all mouth-frothy and thigh-sweaty to get their hands on various documents that McGahn provided to the Special Counsel. The White House and McGahn have not been all that gung-ho about providing the documents so Fat Jerry Nadler’s committee issued a subpoena. Today, McGahn’s attorney told the committee that he would not be honoring the subpoena.
“The committee seeks to compel Mr. McGahn to produce White House documents the executive branch has directed that he not produce,” Burck wrote in a letter, obtained by POLITICO, to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.).
“Where co-equal branches of government are making contradictory demands on Mr. McGahn concerning the same set of documents, the appropriate response for Mr. McGahn is to maintain the status quo unless and until the committee and the executive branch can reach an accommodation,” Burck added.
At the same time, the White House was telling Nadler, via their directive to McGahn, that he probably shouldn’t hold his breath waiting for the documents to show up:
“The White House records remain legally protected from disclosure under longstanding constitutional principles, because they implicate significant executive branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege,” Cipollone wrote to Burck on Tuesday. “For these reasons, the Acting Chief of Staff to the President, Mick Mulvaney, directs Mr. McGahn not to produce these White House records in response to the committee’s April 22 subpoena.”
What is going to make this much more difficult for Nadler, is that former White House lawyer Ty Cobb structured the access of Mueller’s people to McGahn’s documents as executive branch employees being allowed temporary and limited access to those documents and the White House approved the documents Mueller included in his report. Because the documents were never “produced” or “turned over” as part of a subpoena process, the White House retains control of them.
At some point, Nadler is either going to have to roll the dice and go to court…and probably, in the long run, get his fat, gravy-infused butt handed to him…or he’s going to be a laughing stock. Wait…too late for that.