Don McGahn (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP, File)
Attorneys for the Justice Department, which is representing the administration, argued the court should stay out of the fight because any decision could be construed as interfering with the impeachment process.
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee countered that they need to hear from Mr. McGahn quickly because President Trump is still under investigation and may face more articles of impeachment.
“The committee’s investigations did not cease with the House’s recent impeachment vote,” the panel’s attorneys wrote in a filing.
However, the Justice Department urged the court not to become a referee in the impeachment fight.
“Indeed, if this court were to now resolve the merits question in this case, it would appear to be weighing in on a contested issue in any impeachment trial. That would be of questionable propriety whether or not such a judicial resolution preceded or post-dated any impeachment trial,” the Justice Department wrote.
“If McGahn’s testimony produces new evidence supporting the conclusion that President Trump committed impeachable offenses that are not covered by the Articles approved by the House, the Committee will proceed accordingly — including, if necessary, by considering whether to recommend new articles of impeachment,” the House wrote.
The D.C. Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments from both sides on Jan. 3.