The Democratic chairman of the House judiciary committee has issued a subpoena demanding that former White House counsel Don McGahn testify before Congress as House speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed to hold Donald Trump to account following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report on Russian influence on the 2016 US election.
The move escalates the Democrats’ investigations into Trump, as the party remains split over moves towards impeachment, and debates how to proceed with the evidence contained in Mueller’s 448-page report, which laid out 10 episodes of potential obstruction of justice and abuse of power by the president.
“The special counsel’s report, even in redacted form, outlines substantial evidence that President Trump engaged in obstruction and other abuses,” said Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House judiciary committee, which has the power to launch impeachment proceedings.
“It now falls to Congress to determine for itself the full scope of the misconduct and to decide what steps to take in the exercise of our duties of oversight, legislation and constitutional accountability.”
In a statement, Nadler said the committee asked for McGahn, who cooperated extensively in the special counsel investigation and was involved in several incidents at the heart of whether Trump obstructed justice, to turn over documents by 7 May and to testify before his committee by 21 May.
The move came as Democrats gathered for the first time since the report was released on a conference call to discuss how the House would proceed.
Ahead of the call, Pelosi acknowledged the divide within her caucus over whether to pursue impeachment – a step supported by many on the party’s left flank, including 2020 contenders Elizabeth Warren and Julián Castro.
“While our views range from proceeding to investigate the findings…