Trump loses lawsuit challenging subpoena for financial records

Trump Tells Former Counsel to Ignore Congressional Subpoena

White House Says It's Blocking Don McGahn From Testifying In Congress

President Donald Trump is "expected" to tell former White House counsel Don McGahn to ignore a subpoena from the House of Representatives in a bid to prevent his public testimony, the New York Times reports.

U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta's ruling means that Mazars USA must comply with the House Oversight and Reform Committee's subpoena for eight years of Trump's financial records, though the president is certain to appeal the ruling.

"The Department of Justice has provided a legal opinion stating that, based on long-standing, bipartisan, and constitutional precedent, the former counsel to the president can not be forced to give such testimony, and Mr. McGahn has been directed to act accordingly", said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement.

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Earlier this month, McGahn refused to turn over the requested documents after the White House instructed him not to comply with that part of the subpoena. The legal battle comes as House Democrats seek to probe Trump's finances, his campaign and allegations he sought to obstruct justice in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's Russian Federation investigation.

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Attorney General Bill Barr said that Mueller had ruled out collusion, and that he didn't believe there was sufficient evidence of obstruction - a conclusion Mueller did not make himself.

"Three previous opinions ... directly addressed the immunity of counsel to the president: Harriet Miers was a former counsel to President George W. Bush, Beth Nold was the current counsel to President Clinton, and Jack Quinn was the current counsel to President Clinton", the White House letter said.

"Applying those principles here compels the conclusion that President Trump can not block the subpoena to Mazars", Mehta added in his ruling.

McGahn was a key witness in Mueller's probe, particularly into his investigation into whether the President obstructed justice.

Nadler and his committee may vote soon to hold McGahn or others in contempt of Congress, too.

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"This move is just the latest act of obstruction from the White House that includes its blanket refusal to cooperate with this Committee", Nadler said in a statement.

"The Department has long taken the position-across administrations of both political parties-that "the President and his immediate advisers are absolutely immune from testimonial compulsion by a Congressional committee", according to the letter".

The Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee has issued a legal order for Mr McGahn to appear on Tuesday.

Trump has fumed about McGahn for months, after it became clear that much of Mueller's report was based on his testimony.

An Obama-appointed judge upheld a House Democrat subpoena over President Trump's tax returns.

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