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Don McGahn in an October 2018 Cabinet meeting. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A D.C. appeals court on Friday allowed House Democrats to continue their case for testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn before the House Judiciary Committee.

Why it matters: The ruling has broader implications beyond this specific instance, agreeing that Congress has the standing to sue to enforce subpoenas against executive branch officials even if the White House refuses to comply.

  • "The Committee ... has shown that it suffers a concrete and particularized injury when denied the opportunity to obtain information necessary to the legislative, oversight, and impeachment functions of the House," the opinion says.
  • "Indeed, the ordinary and effective functioning of the Legislative Branch critically depends on the legislative prerogative to obtain information, and constitutional structure and historical practice support judicial enforcement of congressional subpoenas when necessary," it adds.

The big picture: McGahn was one of the most important witnesses in Robert Mueller's investigation. He appears on 66 pages of the Mueller report and played a central role in some of its juiciest revelations, including the fact that President Trump once asked him to fire Mueller.

Catch up quick: Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have fought a lengthy legal battle to question McGahn regarding Trump's alleged attempts to obstruct justice.

What's next: The matter now returns to a three-judge panel for consideration on other legal issues, per the AP.

  • Worth noting: Judge Thomas Griffith noted in his dissent that "the chances that the committee hears McGahn’s testimony anytime soon are vanishingly slim," since the current House session ends at the start of January.

Read the ruling.

Go deeper: Former White House counsel Don McGahn off the record

Go deeper

Updated Oct 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trumpworld coronavirus tracker

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

An outbreak of COVID-19 has struck the White House — including the president himself — just weeks before the 2020 election.

Why it matters: If the president can get infected, anyone can. And the scramble to figure out the scope of this outbreak is a high-profile, high-stakes microcosm of America's larger failures to contain the virus and to stand up a contact-tracing system that can respond to new cases before they have a chance to become outbreaks.

26 mins ago - Sports

Jill Biden cheers on Team USA at Tokyo Olympics

Jill Biden congratulates U.S. women 3x3 basketball team after the first round 3x3 basketball match. Photo: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

First lady Jill Biden attended three Olympic events on Saturday and hosted a watch party at the U.S. Embassy for the Team USA-Mexico softball game.

Driving the news: On her first day as a spectator at the Games, Biden attended a women's 3x3 basketball game, cheered on American swimmers during preliminary heats and caught the second half of the U.S. women's soccer game against New Zealand.

36 mins ago - Sports

Team USA closes out Day 1 of Summer Olympics with no medals

Eli Dershwitz of Team United States reacts in his men’s sabre individual bout against Junghwan Kim of Korea of the fencing on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Photo: Elsa / Getty Images

Team USA concluded the first official day of competition at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday without winning a single medal despite several close contests.

Why it matters: Olympic historian Bill Mallon noted that this was the first time the United States did not receive any medals on Day 1 of the Summer Olympics since Munich in 1972.

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