The Biden administration has asked a federal appeals court to delay a hearing on a demand from House Democrats to compel former Trump White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify regarding the long-since completed Mueller investigation into a supposed conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
The request indicated the Biden administration had little appetite for continuing the 2-year-old legal battle, which began under the Trump administration, the Washington Examiner reported.
“Defendant-Appellant respectfully moves to postpone oral argument so that the parties can explore an accommodation that could resolve this dispute,” Justice Department civil division staff attorney Courtney Dixon wrote in a Wednesday court filing. “Since briefing was completed in this case, there has been a change in Administrations.
“The new Administration wishes to explore whether an accommodation might be available with respect to the Committee’s request. Discussions among the relevant parties have begun, and the new Administration believes the parties would benefit from additional time to pursue these discussions.”
However, House Democratic counsel Douglas Letter dismissed the Justice Department’s request and asked for the Tuesday hearing to occur as scheduled.
“DOJ seeks to postpone the argument after a change in Presidential Administrations to explore the possibility of resolving this case without further litigation,” Letter wrote in his brief. “We appreciate the Biden Administration’s efforts to settle this case, and we have actively participated in those efforts. But we do not believe that postponing the argument will improve the prospect of a settlement or serve the interests of judicial efficiency or fairness to the parties.”
Democrats sued McGahn in August 2019, claiming his testimony was crucial to determine possible obstruction of justice accusations against then-President Donald Trump with regard to the Mueller investigation. Then-Attorney General William Barr and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded there was no obstruction of justice.
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