The Morning Scroll: Man Climbs Eiffel Tower & Trump Blocks McGahn From Testifying on Mueller Report

Morning! While you were sleeping (or staying up to binge-watch Friends for the tenth time, or pulling an all-nighter in the library), a few things went down that you’ll probably want to know about. So grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and get scrolling.

What in the World

The Eiffel Tower was evacuated and closed down on Monday after a man climbed to the top of the Paris monument and refused to come down.

The tower was closed after security agents spotted the man in the afternoon climbing up the structure from the second floor, prompting an evacuation of the 2,500 visitors on the monument, including guests who were dining on the second floor, according to a statement from the tower management company.

Streets surrounding the Eiffel Tower were also cleared and closed to the public.

“The man entered the tower normally and started to climb once he was on the second floor,” an Eiffel Tower spokeswoman told Reuters.

Video footage showed the man close to the observation deck towards the top of the tower and clung to the Parisian landmark for more than six hours, BBC News reports.

Members of a special firefighter climbing unit and police negotiators eventually persuaded the man to surrender, a Paris police official said. As of Monday night, the man was “under control and out of danger.”

The man, whose motives for climbing the tower are unclear, has not yet been identified.

Authorities wouldn’t say how the man managed to get past the Eiffel Tower’s stringent security system, but the management company, SETE, said that such intrusions remain “very rare,” ABC News reports.

Managers promised that patrons whose visits were affected Monday would be reimbursed.

The tower will reopen to the public at 9:30 a.m. local time today.

News You Can Eat

One of the best parts about Disneyland is all of the Instagrammable food, and this month, Disneyland has a new menu item that you’re going to want to share on your feed: the spaghetti burger.

We’ve all been there — deciding between having a burger or pasta can be really difficult. But Disneyland’s new photo perfect menu item is the ultimate combination of both.

According to The Disney Food Blog, the Spaghetti Burger has a beef patty topped with gooey mozzarella cheese, sun-dried tomato spread and arugula, all sandwiched between two “buns” made of fried spaghetti.

Image via Disney

Sounds like the perfect meal!

The new burger is served at Sand Bar Lounge at the Paradise Pier Hotel.

But that’s not the only new item coming to Sand Bar Lounge. According to ABC News, the menu will also feature Confetti Dessert Nachos, topped with vanilla whipped cream, diced strawberries, chocolate drizzle and sprinkles.

Sand Bar Lounge also has a plant-based burger, the PBJ Burger Slider, which is made with a plant-based patty, peanut butter and blackberry jam, and served on a toasted potato bun.

Time to book a trip to Disneyland for all the new food!

Then This Happened

President Donald Trump has directed former White House counsel Donald McGahn to not testify before Congress Tuesday regarding special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, the White House said Monday.

In a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, McGahn’s lawyer, William Burck, said the former White House counsel “will respect the President’s instruction” and not appear before the committee, HuffPost reports.

“Mr. McGahn remains obligated to maintain the status quo and respect the President’s instruction,” Burck said, according to The Washington Post. “In the event an accommodation is agreed between the Committee and the White House, Mr. McGahn will of course comply with that accommodation.”

Earlier, in a letter written to Nadler, current White House counsel Pat Cipollone said that McGahn is “absolutely immune” from being compelled to testify before Congress regarding his time as White House counsel.

“The immunity of the President’s immediate advisers from compelled congressional testimony on matters related to their official responsibilities has long been recognized and arises from the fundamental workings of the separation of powers. Those principles apply to the former White House Counsel,” the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel opinion on McGahn reads. “Accordingly, Mr. McGahn is not legally required to appear and testify about matters related to his official duties as Counsel to the President.”

Cipollone wrote that because of this “constitutional immunity,” “the President has directed Mr. McGahn not to appear at the Committee’s scheduled hearing on Tuesday, May 21, 2019.”

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders claimed the White House has been “completely transparent” with Mueller’s investigation.

“The Department of Justice has provided a legal opinion stating that, based on long-standing, bipartisan, and Constitutional precedent, the former Counsel to the President cannot be forced to give such testimony, and Mr. McGahn has been directed to act accordingly,” Sanders said in a statement. “This action has been taken in order to ensure that future Presidents can effectively execute the responsibilities of the Office of the Presidency.”

“The Democrats do not like the conclusion of the Mueller investigation – no collusion, no conspiracy, and no obstruction – and want a wasteful and unnecessary do-over,” she added.

Nadler responded to the White House’s decision Monday, saying his committee would meet as planned Tuesday morning and McGahn was expected to appear.

“It is absurd for President Trump to claim privilege as to this witness’s testimony when that testimony was already described publicly in the Mueller Report,” Nadler said in a statement. “Even more ridiculous is the extension of the privilege to cover events before and after Mr. McGahn’s service in the White House.”

McGahn is an important witness to some of the activity outlined in the second half of Mueller’s report, which focused on whether Trump obstructed justice. According to ABC News, McGahn met with the special counsel multiple times for more than 30 hours and was questioned more extensively than any other member of the White House that went in to be interviewed.

Mueller had requested to speak to McGahn regarding the circumstances surrounding former FBI Director James Comey’s firing and his alleged involvement in former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the Russia investigation.

“Mr. McGahn is a critical witness to many of the alleged instances of obstruction of justice and other misconduct described in the Mueller report,” Nadler wrote in a press release last month, along with a subpoena request for McGahn to testify and supply documents related to Mueller’s investigation. “His testimony will help shed further light on the President’s attacks on the rule of law, and his attempts to cover up those actions by lying to the American people and requesting others do the same.”

The White House had instructed McGahn to not comply with the House Democrats’ documents request.

Trump told reporters later Monday that his counsel is attempting to block McGahn’s testimony before Congress “for the office of the presidency.”

“I think it’s a very important precedent,” Trump said. “The attorneys say that they’re not doing it for me, they’re doing it for the office of the president. We’re talking about the future.”

Happy Thoughts

Today is National Strawberries and Cream Day! A Starbucks’ Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino sounds pretty good rn. 

Image via Tumblr