Lawmakers may not return to Capitol Hill until next week, but there will still be at least one interesting development in Congress today.
The House Judiciary Committee is poised to question former White House counsel Don McGahn behind closed doors on Friday, two years after House Democrats originally sought his testimony as part of investigations into former President Donald Trump. The long-awaited interview is the result of an agreement reached last month in federal court, and a transcript will be publicly released within a week.
For those who may need a refresher as to why anyone should still care, let's review our earlier coverage.
Congress first sought answers from McGahn two years ago. Team Trump, true to form, fought against the subpoena, and there was no great mystery as to why.
McGahn was, for all intents and purposes, one of the star witnesses in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russia scandal. As we've discussed, the Republican lawyer spoke with investigators for dozens of hours, and in the redacted version of Mueller's report, the former White House counsel was cited more than 150 times.
In some of the episodes in which Trump allegedly obstructed justice, the claims of suspected criminal misconduct are based heavily on what McGahn told investigators.
Indeed, as the former special counsel's findings made clear, the former White House counsel very nearly resigned because the president directed him to "do crazy s**t," including an incident in which, according to McGahn, Trump pressed the lawyer to push the Justice Department to derail the investigation by getting rid of Mueller and creating a false document to cover that up.
Naturally, Democratic lawmakers were eager to hear more, so they subpoenaed McGahn. After a lengthy legal process, including multiple court rulings, he will finally answer questions today. (As Rachel noted on the show last week, Team Trump could've dragged out the legal dispute even longer, but that would've required the former president to pay the legal expenses himself. He wasn't willing to do that, so McGahn's Q&A is proceeding.)
Right about now, some of you are probably wondering why in the world this matters. After all, the Mueller probe ended two years ago; Trump is no longer in the White House; and no matter what McGahn tells Congress, the former president won't be impeached for a third time.
But it's not quite that simple -- because some of Trump's legal liabilities remain unresolved.
Remember, the special counsel's investigation, relying heavily on McGahn, documented at least 10 specific instances in which Trump arguably committed felony obstruction of justice. It is the Justice Department's policy that a sitting president can't be prosecuted, so nothing came of those findings.
Trump, however, is obviously no longer in office, and as Rachel has explained on the show, the statute of limitations has not expired on the former president's alleged misconduct.
All of which suggests McGahn's answers today won't just be relevant for the historical record.