WASHINGTON (AP) — In a setback for Democrats in Congress, a federal appeals court has ruled that judges have no role to play in the subpoena fight between the House of Representatives and the Trump administration over the testimony of high-ranking officials.
The decision Friday from a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit undoes a lower court ruling that would have forced former White House counsel Donald McGahn to appear before Congress. It is likely to doom efforts to get other high-ranking officials to testify in House investigations of President Donald Trump.
Lawmakers could ask the full appeals court to weigh in or appeal to the Supreme Court. But time is getting short if the House hopes to have McGahn or other officials testify before elections in November.
The House Judiciary Committee first subpoenaed McGahn in April 2019 and went to court in August to try to enforce the subpoena.
A trial judge ruled in November that the president’s close advisers do not have the absolute immunity from testifying to Congress that the administration claimed.