Trump Directs White House Counsel Don McGahn to Skip Congressional Testimony

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Donald Trump on Wednesday terminated a meeting with Democratic leaders after just a few minutes, saying he refuses to work with them on an infrastructure plan unless they stop investigating him and lift the threat of impeachment.

"I'm not sure we get more information if we do an impeachment inquiry" versus the current oversight efforts, she said. "And we believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up", Pelosi told reporters after a morning meeting of House Democrats.

The White House released a letter Tuesday night that Trump wrote Pelosi and Schumer letting them know his preference for Congress taking up the proposed US trade deal with Mexico and Canada first.

"We will not allow the president to prevent the America people from hearing from this witness", said Nadler.

Speaking at the Capitol, Pelosi and Schumer suggested that Trump was looking for excuses not to take up infrastructure.

"Lots of members want to put an impeachment inquiry on the table", said Rep. Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland.

House Speaker Pelosi faces an increasingly restless call amongst Democrat leaders and rank-and-file members to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

Ahead of that gathering, Pelosi - following a closed-door meeting with fellow party members - accused Trump of being "engaged in a cover-up" in regards to the Russian Federation investigation. McGahn's absence brought a new wave of House Democrats calling for Trump's impeachment.

Those demands mounted on Wednesday after former White House Counsel Don McGahn ignored a subpoena from the House judiciary committee on Tuesday to appear before it and testify.

The banks have taken no position on the legality of the subpoenas and are letting lawyers for the president and the two House panels, the Financial Services and the Intelligence committees, fight it out themselves.

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In a lawsuit filed on April 29, lawyers for Trump, his children and the Trump Organization argued that the subpoenas were too broad, and that Democrats are hoping they will "stumble upon something" that could be used for political attacks on the president.

"Let me be clear: this committee will hear Mr McGahn's testimony, even if we have to go to court to secure it".

US Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel said Congress "may not constitutionally compel the President's senior advisers to testify about their official duties".

Several hours later, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler met with Pelosi as well and made the case to start the inquiry, he later told his panel member on a call.

Visibly angered by Pelosi's remarks, Trump also said he would not work with Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, on a major infrastructure proposal because of "phony" investigations they are pursuing in Congress.

McGahn has emerged as a key figure in Mueller's investigation into potential obstruction of justice.

"I am very pleased but not surprised" by the latest ruling, said Representative Elijah Cummings, chairman of the Oversight Committee.

"The fact is, in plain sight, this President is obstructing justice and is engaged in a coverup - and that could be impeachable", Pelosi said to thunderous applause from the liberal audience.

There is a "danger", he added, because if there is a Democratic president in the future, "they can impeach him for any reason". He said the judge was unlikely to look into the committee's motives in issuing a subpoena "as long as it might produce some information that's relevant to legislation".