Nine witnesses in three days made for a packed and dramatic week of public testimony in the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
While there are no further hearings scheduled as of yet, a federal judge ruled Monday evening that former White House counsel Donald McGahn must comply with a subpoena to testify. Trump administration lawyers had argued that McGahn and other White House aides have “absolute immunity” from being questioned.
“To think that the president of the United States has absolute immunity (from) congressional oversight would be a devastating ruling against the Constitution,” said Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Illinois), who serves on the House Intelligence Committee and has participated in questioning the witnesses.
Despite Monday’s ruling – which will likely be appealed – Quigley says Democrats in the House are discussing how articles of impeachment might move forward, with or without additional testimony from current and former senior Trump administration officials.
“We can’t wait for them forever. In the meantime, would you like (acting chief of staff Mick) Mulvaney? Would you like (Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo? Would you like (former national security adviser John) Bolton? Certainly, but you can’t play their game,” Quigley said.
Quigley says the impeachment hearings have made the House more acrimonious than he’s ever experienced. “This has gotten to an entirely different level, and to an extent I think part of that’s reflecting where the American people are,” Quigley said. “In a sad way, what members are doing is reflecting what the public wants them to do. Unfortunately, that pushes away from compromise, but I’d like to think we’ll get there.”