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Don McGahn. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

White House counsel Pat Cipollone has instructed former counsel Don McGahn to withhold subpoenaed documents from the House Judiciary Committee.

Driving the news: In a letter to McGahn's lawyer, Cipollone said that the White House provided documents to McGahn as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation with the understanding that they would remain under control of the White House "for all purposes." As such, Cipollone argues that the committee must negotiate with the White House, and that President Trump has the right to invoke executive privilege and prevent the records from being disclosed.

  • McGahn's lawyer William Burck subsequently wrote a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) informing him of the White House's decision.

Why it matters: Interviews with McGahn, who cooperated for more than 30 hours with the special counsel's office, are cited in the Mueller report 157 times — more than any other witness. Refusals from McGahn — and other top White House staffers — to obey presidential directives are part of the reason that Trump may have avoided obstructing justice.

The big picture: Trump's White House has moved to a strategy of simply ignoring congressional subpoenas, highlighting a key limitation of congressional oversight — there's not much Democrats can do if the Trump administration says no to everything. And attempts to hold members of previous administrations in contempt of Congress all fizzled, setting the stage for protracted legal battles.

  • Trump said in an interview with Fox News last week that McGahn and other administration officials should not testify before Congress: "They've testified for many hours, all of them. I would say, it's done ... They shouldn't be looking anymore."

Go deeper

Using apps to prevent deadly police encounters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Mobile phone apps are evolving in ways that can stop rather than simply document deadly police encounters with people of color — including notifying family and lawyers about potential violations in real time.

Why it matters: As states and cities face pressure to reform excessive force policies, apps that monitor police are becoming more interactive, gathering evidence against rogue officers as well as posting social media videos to shame the agencies.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
15 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: President Trump has sought to undo the Obama-era program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting new applications for DACA as soon as Monday.