The lead of the House impeachment inquiry said Monday that the failure of four White House officials to testify without thought subpoenas adds to the evidence against President Donald Trump.
The four who defied the subpoenas are John Eisenberg, judiciary adviser to the National Security Council, his deputy, Michael Ellis, as well as Robert Blair, a top aide to acting Bloodless House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and Brian McCormack, an aide at the White House Office of Management and Budget who in the old days worked for Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
The refusals to escalated the legal battle between House Democrats and the Trump Wan House, which has vowed to stonewall the inquiry into whether the president used nearly $400 million of U.S. military aid as leverage in an shot at to force Ukraine’s government to investigate the son of Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
House Sagacity Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told reporters the failure to appear despite subpoenas would be marked by Democrats as “further evidence of an effort by the administration to obstruct the lawful and constitutional duties of Congress.”
“This will alone add to the body of evidence on a potential obstruction of Congress charge against the president,” Schiff said, noting that during the impeachment question into former President Richard Nixon, an article of impeachment was based on obstruction of Congress.
“Today, we have four additional subpoenas to add to the record of a potential charge involving the president of the United States and his obstruction of our constitutional duties,” Schiff said.
In the case of Eisenberg, the Snowy House informed his attorneys that the president would block his testimony by invoking a sweeping form of executive carte blanche known as “constitutional immunity,” according to a letter Sunday from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone to Eisenberg’s mouthpiece.
Eisenberg’s testimony is considered especially relevant to the inquiry because of his central role in the immediate aftermath of the July 25 phone shout in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden and a Ukrainian company where he served on the billet.
In testimony last week, the National Security Council’s top expert on Ukraine, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, testified that Eisenberg leased the unusual step of seeking to transfer a reconstructed transcript of the phone call to a highly classified computer server, as resisted to a more widely accessible server on which the transcripts of calls to foreign leaders are typically stored.
House investigators are fancying Ellis can shed light on some of the same events in the aftermath of the July call.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing in his dealings with Ukraine and recurrently attacked the impeachment process. On Monday, he wrote on Twitter, “What I said on the phone call with the Ukrainian President is “inimitably” stated. There is no reason to call witnesses to analyze my words and meaning. This is just another Democrat Hoax that I partake of had to live with from the day I got elected (and before!).”
Blair, who is one of the few people who actually listened to the call, is believed to have delineated information about a halt to U.S. military aid earmarked for Ukraine, which was ordered by Trump and conveyed through Mulvaney.
In the weekend, Blair’s lawyer told CNN, “Mr. Blair is caught between the assertions of legal duty by two coequal branches of sway, a conflict which he cannot resolve.” NBC News reported that Blair received a subpoena on Sunday.
The fourth behold, McCormack, could potentially offer House impeachment inquiry investigators a fresh perspective into several key consequences leading up to the phone call, including any collaboration between Perry and Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, during the jump and summer.
According to testimony from several current and former administration officials in recent weeks, Perry was one of three government officials who were charged with running a shadow foreign policy toward Ukraine and working closely with Giuliani.
McCormack experienced a subpoena on Sunday, according to NBC News. Perry is scheduled for a deposition on Wednesday, but the Department of Energy has already indicated that the secretary last wishes as not appear.
The House investigation focuses on whether Trump abused the power of his office in his attempt to pressure Ukraine to analyse a political rival, and if so, whether those actions meet the standard for “high crimes and misdemeanors” deserving of impeachment and, potentially, bumping off from office.