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President Trump tweeted Tuesday that the media is "reading far too much" into Monday's decision by a federal judge that would force former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify in the House impeachment inquiry.

Why it matters: Though the decision is being appealed, the judge rejected in harsh terms the argument that White House aides are "absolutely immune" from congressional subpoenas, blasting the theory as "exactly backwards" in terms of the principles of separation of powers.

  • Trump claimed that he would actually like his aides to testify but argued that "absolute immunity" is a matter of protecting the powers of the presidency.

What he's saying:

"The D.C. Wolves and Fake News Media are reading far too much into people being forced by Courts to testify before Congress. I am fighting for future Presidents and the Office of the President. Other than that, I would actually like people to testify. Don McGahn’s respected lawyer has already stated that I did nothing wrong. John Bolton is a patriot and may know that I held back the money from Ukraine because it is considered a corrupt country, & I wanted to know why nearby European countries weren’t putting up money also. Likewise, I would love to have Mike Pompeo, Rick Perry, Mick Mulvaney and many others testify about the phony Impeachment Hoax. It is a Democrat Scam that is going nowhere but, future Presidents should in no way be compromised. What has happened to me should never happen to another President!"

Reality check: The claim that McGahn would testify that Trump "did nothing wrong" is dubious. The former White House counsel appears on 66 pages of the 448-page Mueller report — and appeared to prevent Trump from obstructing justice effectively by ignoring presidential orders at every turn.

  • Likewise, former national security adviser John Bolton, whom Trump also claims would exonerate him in the impeachment inquiry, met privately with Trump in August to try to convince him to release frozen military aid to Ukraine, one former official testified.
  • Bolton, who supposedly called the scheme to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Biden family a "drug deal," was the most prolific note taker at the top level of the White House — and could know more details than any impeachment inquiry witness about Trump's machinations with Ukraine.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
12 mins ago - Health

Experts predict an easier COVID winter this year

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

This winter probably won't bring another crushing COVID wave, experts say.

Why it matters: Last winter was the deadliest phase of the pandemic, and many Americans are braced for cold weather to once again usher in a surge in cases and deaths. But there are good reasons to think this year won't be nearly as bad.

Not enough votes for corporate tax hike, Biden says

President Biden speaks at the Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photo: Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Democrats don't have the votes to raise corporate taxes, President Biden admitted at Thursday's CNN town hall in Baltimore, Maryland, where he went into detail on the state of negotiations concerning the massive reconciliation bill.

Why it matters: Democrats are still negotiating what will go into the bill. Divisions within the party have stalled the legislation for weeks.

Biden signals openness to ending filibuster for voting rights legislation

President Biden participates in a CNN town hall at Baltimore Center Stage in Baltimore, Maryland on Oct. 21, 2021. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Thursday at a CNN town hall he'd be willing to consider doing away with the filibuster in the Senate in a bid to protect voting rights and "and maybe more."

Why it matters: With an evenly split Senate, legislation requires at least 10 Republican votes making it highly unlikely any new voting rights bill would pass with the filibuster in tact.

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