Washington – The tug of war between Donald Trump and the Democratic parliamentarians was hardened on Monday, as the White House ordered its former legal adviser not to respond to a congressional summons.
For the first time, justice has ruled in this conflict between the American president and the opposition, which, with its new majority in the House of Representatives, multiplies since January the investigations on its finances, its taxes or the consequences to give to the Russian inquiry.
Donald Trump claims to be the victim of a "harassment"and uses every means in its power to refuse to cooperate in these investigations.
On Monday, the Ministry of Justice published a "legal notice"assuring that presidential advisers were not required to testify before Congress because of the separation of executive and legislative powers.
The former White House legal adviser, Don McGahn, summoned the next day to the Capitol, "has been ordered to act accordingly", the presidency said in a statement.
"This is the latest example of the disdain of the administration for the right"said Democrat Jerry Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee.
This one keeps its convocation and "waits"Mr. McGahn," he added.
The Democrats want to question him on remarks made before the special prosecutor Robert Mueller, who oversaw for 22 months the delicate Russian investigation.
In his final report, released in mid-April, prosecutor Mueller said he had not gathered evidence of an agreement between Moscow and Donald Trump's campaign team during the 2016 presidential election.
However, he detailed a series of troubling presidential pressures on his investigation, beginning with an attempt to sack him, blocked by Don McGahn.
"Democrats do not like the conclusion of the Mueller Inquiry – no collusion, no conspiracy, no obstruction of justice – and want to start all over again, although it's useless and expensive", said the White House to justify the order given to Don McGahn.
Donald Trump, eager to turn the page of the Russian investigation, had already used his presidential prerogatives to block other demands of the House of Representatives.
– "Political motivation"-
In the same vein, the White House opposes another investigation launched in the House, which deals with the finances of Donald Trump prior to his election.
Democrats suspect the real estate mogul has inflated the value of his holdings to obtain loans. To find out more, the Audit Committee ordered Donald Trump's former accounting firm to send him a series of financial documents.
To block this injunction, the White House took legal action and argued that Congress did not need this information to ensure its role as legislator.
A Washington federal judge on Monday dismissed these arguments and said he "did not come back to the court to judge whether the actions of the commission meet a political motivation".
Another twist of this saga, the House Intelligence Committee made public Monday remarks made before it by former Donald Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen, who is currently serving a prison sentence, including for lying to Congress.
According to the public statements, he said, at the beginning of the year during an in camera appearance, lied about the continuation of a Trump Tower project in Moscow during the presidential campaign at the request of the new Donald Trump.
The Democrats immediately promised to shed light "about attempts by the president, his associates, or his administration to push through perjury or hinder our investigations."