Seth Abramson @SethAbramson Attorney. @Newsweek columnist. NYT bestselling author of a book on Trump's Iran policy, Proof of Conspiracy (Macmillan, amzn.to/2sQBWYL). Professor. Nov. 26, 2019 1 min read

I'm not getting too worked up about tonight's decision because:

1. It'll be appealed.
2. It was expected ("absolute immunity" doesn't exist).
3. Witnesses can still show up and assert privilege.

The *real* question is if a witness can assert privilege *without* a WH assertion.

1/ From Day 1, what I and other lawyers objected to was federal witnesses showing up and asserting executive privilege *without a prior White House assertion*. That's outrageous. But when Trump started blocking *all* testimony? Well, we *all* knew that wouldn't hold up in court.

2/ The real matter of import in tonight's federal district court decision is the timing: is it *possible* that it happened quickly enough that a SCOTUS appeal could be heard by mid- to late January? Hmm. Realistically? If McGahn wants to run out the clock, he probably still can.

3/ I think this ruling will be stayed by a higher court (appeals or, failing that, SCOTUS). So it's still hard, at the *moment*, to see how this leads to McGahn testifying in the short term. More likely would be Democrats asking Roberts to rule on this *during* the Senate trial.


You can follow @SethAbramson.



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