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US House Judiciary chair says panel will hold McGahn in contempt

Key Points
  • "The first thing we are going to do we're going to have to hold McGahn in contempt," said Jerrold Nadler, the House judiciary chairman.
  • McGahn had been scheduled to testify in front of the committee on Tuesday, but late on Monday his lawyer said McGahn would not appear. 
White House counsel Don McGahn
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call Group | Getty Images

The chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee said in a television interview on Monday that his panel will hold former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress for not testifying.

"The first thing we are going to do we're going to have to hold McGahn in contempt," Jerrold Nadler, the House judiciary chairman, told CNN, adding that the full House would then move to enforce the contempt citation before launching court proceedings.

McGahn had been scheduled to testify in front of the committee on Tuesday, but late on Monday his lawyer said McGahn would not appear

President Donald Trump had on Monday directed former White House counsel Don McGahn not to comply with a subpoena to testify about special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report, intensifying a clash between the Trump administration and the House Democrats who subpoenaed McGahn to appear.

McGahn, who was scheduled to testify Tuesday morning, is cited more than any other witness in Mueller's report on Russian election meddling, possible conspiracy between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign, and possible obstruction by Trump himself.

He was subpoenaed in late April by the House Judiciary Committee to appear before that panel and answer questions, as well as hand over a slew of documents.

— CNBC's Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report.