Jun 25, 2019

House Democrats reach deal for ex-White House aide to testify on Trump

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Monday he's reached an agreement to receive testimony from Annie Donaldson, who served as former White House counsel Don McGahn's chief of staff.

Details: The panel had subpoenaed Donaldson to appear before it on Monday, but because she's in her third trimester of pregnancy, "there are concerns about her ability to travel and testify at length," Nadler's press release said.

"We are happy to reach an agreement with Ms. Donaldson that secures her prompt response to the Committee’s questions while reserving the right of the Committee to call her in when she is again able to travel and testify."
— House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler statement

Why it matters: Donaldson's notes feature prominently in the obstruction section of Robert Mueller's report. The White House previously instructed Donaldson and former communications director Hope Hicks not to testify or turn over documents related to their time in the administration.

The big picture: A White House counsel sitting in on the interview blocked Hicks — the first witness to at least partially comply with a subpoena in the committee's obstruction of justice investigation — from answering any question about her work in the White House or the Trump transition team when she did appear before the panel this month.

  • The White House is expected to try to block Donaldson from answering any questions in writing or in person about her government service, likely citing a Justice Department opinion that close aides to the president have "absolute immunity" from congressional subpoenas, according to the New York Times.
  • Under the agreement, Donaldson must provide written answers within 1 week of receiving them from the committee and disclose whether the White House provided documents to her and her counsel.

Go deeper: Read what the Mueller report says about Hicks and Donaldson

Go deeper

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

More than 62,300 U.S. health care workers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and at least 291 have died from the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday. COVID-19 had infected about 9,300 health professionals when the CDC gave its last update on April 17.

By the numbers: More than 98,900 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 384,900 Americans have recovered and more than 14.9 million tests have been conducted.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:00 p.m. ET: 5,589,626 — Total deaths: 350,453 — Total recoveries — 2,286,956Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:00 p.m. ET: 1,680,913 — Total deaths: 98,913 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Federal response: DOJ investigates meatpacking industry over soaring beef pricesMike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. Congress: House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting.
  5. Business: How the new workplace could leave parents behind.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  7. Public health: Coronavirus antibodies could give "short-term immunity," CDC says, but more data is neededCDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the virus.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

There are no COVID-19 patients in hospital in New Zealand, which reported just 21 active cases after days of zero new infections. A top NZ health official said Tuesday he's "confident we have broken the chain of domestic transmission."

By the numbers: Almost 5.5 million people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Tuesday, and more than 2.2 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 14.9 million tests).