Wednesday morning news: May 22, 2019

McGahn defies subpoena, House Democrats » Democrats scowled at another empty chair during a Tuesday hearing on Capitol Hill.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler had subpoenaed former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify. As expected, he did not show and Nadler said that is not a legal option.

NADLER: When this committee issues a subpoena, even to a senior presidential adviser, the witness must show up. Our subpoenas are not optional. 

The White House disagrees. President Trump claims executive privilege and instructed McGahn to ignore the subpoena. And the top Republican on the Judiciary panel, Doug Collins called Tuesdays hearing grandstanding.

COLLINS: Everything we’re looking at today, even gaveling in today’s hearing without a witness is theatrical. The cameras love a spectacle and the majority loves a chance to rant against the administration.

Nadler warned McGahn to “immediately correct his mistake” or the committee will vote to hold him in contempt and take the matter to court.

And he added that in his view, the White House is defying the constitutional authority of Congress.

NADLER: The recalcitrance of the president and his lawless behavior is making it more and more difficult to ignore all alternatives, including impeachment. 

Trump attorneys appeal ruling on financial records » Meantime, President Trump’s lawyers have appealed a Monday ruling by a federal judge, siding with House Democrats in their demand for Trump’s financial records.

U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta said the House Oversight Committee’s subpoena is valid. The panel wants accounting firm Mazars USA to turn over eight years of Trump’s financial records.

President Trump immediately denounced the ruling.

TRUMP: It’s the wrong – it’s totally the wrong decision by obviously an Obama appointed judge. He was a recent Obama appointed judge. 

Trump’s attorneys are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC circuit to grant a stay after Judge Mehta refused to do so.

A three-judge panel is likely to take up that request. If they deny it, the Trump team could turn to the full bench of the DC Circuit or ask the Supreme Court to step in.   

U.S. preparing sanctions against Russia-to-Germany pipeline » Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Tuesday that the U.S. is preparing sanctions against a Russian gas pipeline to Germany. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The pipeline project called Nord Stream 2 is under construction now. It will run under the Baltic Sea. But the U.S. and numerous other nations fear Russia will use the pipeline as leverage to increase control over energy supplies in Europe. And some believe the pipeline is designed to damage Ukraine—cutting the flow of gas through the country.

Perry, during a visit to Kiev, said—“The opposition to Nord Stream 2 is still very much alive and well in the United States.” He said Congress will soon introduce legislation to put heavy restrictions on companies involved in the project.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

More than 20 tornadoes touch down in four states » More than 20 tornadoes have ripped through four states in the southern Great Plains over the past two days.

Pittsburgh, Kansas resident Ben Scott said a tornado there struck without warning.  

SCOTT: I was home with my three boys, and I was just in the living room reading a book. And then I could just hear it going crazy outside, and when I looked out the window I saw my carport getting blown away and other stuff, so we ran to the bathroom. 

In Oklahoma, Tulsa Fire Department spokesman Andy Little said officials are responding to damage from tornadoes and flooding from heavy rain.

LITTLE: We responded to approximately 10 water rescues and we’ve got several trees into homes today. We have lines down all over the city, which obviously creates a serious danger, and it’s very important that the citizens pay close attention to their environment. 

Parts of Oklahoma are still dealing with serious flooding.

Tornadoes also touched down in Missouri and Arkansas. No reports so far of serious injuries.

U.S. delays Huawei ban for 90 days » The Department of Commerce has announced a 90-day grace period for Chinese tech giant Huawei to work with American companies. A week ago, the Trump administration placed Huawei on the so-called Entity List. That move effectively barred it from trading with U.S. firms.

The reprieve will allow American companies like Google to keep supporting existing networks. That means it can keep sending software updates to customers with Huawei phones until August. The U.S. government has accused Huawei of, among other things, obstructing sanctions against Iran.

French woman sues Boeing over March 737 Max crash » A French woman whose husband died in the crash of a Boeing jet in Ethiopia is suing the manufacturer.

Nadege Dubois-Seex is asking for nearly $300-million in damages. Her husband, Jonathan Seex was among the 157 people killed in the March crash.

Nomaan Husain, the American attorney representing the family, spoke at a news conference in Paris on Tuesday. He said Boeing ignored warning signs ahead of two deadly crashes involving its Max 8 jets.

HUSAIN: There were over 200 complaints to the FAA of which Boeing was made aware involving the 737 Max planes. And most of those complaints involved pilots reporting that the plane unexpectedly pitched nose down.

The 737 Max jets are still grounded worldwide. Boeing is testing software fixes to the system suspected to have caused the crashes.

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) A name placard is displayed during a House Judiciary Committee hearing for former White House Counsel Don McGahn, who did not appear before the committee, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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