At least one of the Democratic Party’s efforts to continue litigating the probe of former special counsel Robert Mueller has been shut down in federal court.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia this week dismissed a lawsuit from Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives seeking testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
“The lawsuit must be dismissed”
More than a year after first subpoenaing McGahn amid a search for evidence that Trump attempted to obstruct the Mueller investigation into allegations that Russia colluded with the president’s 2016 campaign, Democrats continue to fight to compel his testimony.
Although Mueller and his team concluded their probe last year without finding evidence of such collusion, congressional litigation has continued.
The full appeals court ruled last month that Democrats had standing to enforce their subpoena in court, but a three-judge panel ruled on Monday that Congress was never granted the requisite authority.
In a 2-1 decision, however, the panel found that Congress could pass a law granting the legislative branch that very power.
“Because the [House judiciary committee] lacks a cause of action to enforce its subpoena, the lawsuit must be dismissed,” wrote Judge Thomas Griffith in the majority opinion.
“Strikes a grave blow”
He went on to conclude that “this decision does not preclude Congress (or one of its chambers) from ever enforcing a subpoena in federal court; it simply precludes it from doing so without first enacting a statute authorizing such a suit.”
“This wrong-headed Court of Appeals panel ruling threatens to strike a grave blow to one of the most fundamental Constitutional roles of the Congress: to conduct oversight on behalf of the American people, including by issuing our lawful and legitimate subpoenas,” she said.
Of course, Trump has continuously dismissed the Mueller investigation and its various offshoots as part of a “witch hunt” against him and his administration.
As more court decisions come down against the Democrats, more Americans are likely to start agreeing with the president’s take on the matter.