- The Washington Times - Monday, July 8, 2019

A White House attorney blocked former top aide Annie Donaldson from answering written questions from the House Judiciary Committee 212 times, according to a transcript of her responses released Monday.

Ms. Donaldson, a central figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference, offered nothing new for House Democrats seeking explosive testimony that could damage President Trump.

“The White House has directed that I not respond to this question because of the constitutionally-based Executive Branch confidentially interests that are implicated,” she repeated more than 200 times.

Ms. Donaldson served as top deputy to former White House Counsel Don McGahn. Her notes provide some of the most damaging reports about Mr. Trump in the Mueller report, including that he may have obstructed the Russia probe.

But Democrats’ efforts to create more bombshells fell flat as she shed no new light on any of the allegations in the Mueller report, according to the 55-page transcript.

When pressed about events detailed in Mr. Mueller’s 448-page report, she repeatedly said stated there was “no reason” to question the accuracy of the special counsel’s office.

Ms. Donaldson also told the committee she was not present for some of the key meeting described in the Mueller report.

Last month, Ms. Donaldson and the committee agreed to allow her to submit written answers instead of appearing before the panel for public testimony because she is pregnant and lives in Alabama, making travel difficult.

The committee is still seeking to schedule an in-person interview with her after November. However, that appearance is also expected to offer little or no new information.

The White House has asserted former aides have “absolute immunity” from testifying before Congress about their time in the administration. Last month, another former White House aide, Hope Hicks, was blocked from answering questions more than 150 times. All of the questions focused on her time as White House communications director.

Democrats have insisted they will challenge the immunity claims in federal court and could file a claim in the coming days.

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