The Justice Department then continued to fight the subpoena on other legal grounds, arguing that Congress had no “cause of action” that authorized it to sue the executive branch. (The executive branch has taken that position under administrations of both parties, and the Biden administration had signaled that it was prepared to keep arguing it.)

The apparent resolution of the McGahn subpoena case — unless Mr. Trump disrupts it — is similar to a dispute in 2009, when President Barack Obama took office and inherited a House lawsuit over a subpoena for testimony by President George W. Bush’s former White House counsel Harriet Miers related to the firings of United States attorneys.

The Obama administration, a lawyer for the House and a legal representative of Mr. Bush worked out a deal under which Democrats were able to confidentially interview Ms. Miers about the topic, with limits. That accommodation mooted the case, so the District of Columbia Circuit never issued a binding ruling, leaving the legal questions it raised unresolved.

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