President Donald J. Trump’s White House spokesman, Donald F. McGahn II, will have to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Friday whether Trump obstructed Russia’s investigation and ended a long legal and political battle. .
The fact that Mr. McGahn is speaking to Congress is significant after a multi-year legal battle by the Trump Justice Department to block a subpoena for his testimony. That dispute ended last month when Biden’s Justice Department, House Democrats and a Mr. McGahn’s attorney reached a compromise.
Under this agreement, the appearance of Mr. McGahn may produce little in terms of new revelations. He will testify behind closed doors and will have up to a week to review the transcript to verify its accuracy before making it public. He may also be questioned only about his involvement in matters that the Special Adviser, Robert S. Mueller III, describes in the publicly available parts of the report.
Still, he is likely to be asked by Mr. McGahn to respond under oath to the public denial of Trump’s facts that were described in the report, based in part on what McGahn told Mr. to fire Mr. Mueller, a step Mr. McGahn said he refused to take.
This week the Congress is out of session and members must be physically present to participate, so the plenary is not expected to attend. While those who do will have the right to ask questions, it is hoped that Mr. McGahn is questioned primarily by committee staff members. He will be accompanied by his lawyer, William A. Burck.