Published: Tue, October 29, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Impeachment inquiry: House issues subpoenas to two OMB officials

Impeachment inquiry: House issues subpoenas to two OMB officials

As White House officials scramble to deflect scrutiny of the President's Ukraine scandal amid an intensifying impeachment inquiry, the administration has managed to evade scrutiny in at least this one area.

Kupperman was subpoenaed by Democrats, but the White House has invoked 'constitutional immunity.' He said he can't satisfy the demands of both branches of government and is now asking a court to establish which command should prevail. In a responding letter, a lawyer for Kupperman said the "proper course" would be to let the court resolve the dispute between Congress and the administration. Morrison's attorney, Barbara Van Gelder, said in an email Monday that if Morrison is subpoenaed, he will appear. The White House is also accused of withholding military aid to Ukraine for Trump's personal political gain.

"To the extent that he can help shape or influence or minimize the damage that Trump potentially could do, the ambassador feels he has a patriotic duty to do so", Groombridge said of Bolton, who served as the USA ambassador to the United Nations under Bush.

Reeker also heard Defense officials say that the aid needed to be released, as Laura Cooper said in her deposition earlier this week, during the interagency meeting he had attended, the source said.

She spoke at Drake University in Des Moines, where she also said no decision has been made beyond an impeachment inquiry itself.

Reeker was prepared to tell lawmakers he was unaware of whether USA security aid to Ukraine was withheld to pressure Kyiv to launch investigations that could have helped Trump's 2020 re-election bid, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Closed-door depositions are scheduled to resume Saturday after a two-day pause with an appearance by a Foreign Service officer stationed in Kyiv, who is expected to testify on efforts of Giuliani and others to oust the previous US ambassador to Ukraine.

Trump does have one tool Nixon did not in his fight against impeachment: Fox News and its partisan commentators, who frequently function as the propaganda arm of his White House.

Clinton, the former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, said Cummings had "little tolerance for those who put party above country or partisanship above truth".

The judge ordered the Trump administration to give the House Judiciary Committee secret material from former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election.

Giuliani was working with former special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker and US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland to press Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and his advisers to open investigations into the Ukrainian energy company Burisma and former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, as well as into a conspiracy theory about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. "I'm the team. I did nothing wrong", he said. They pointed out that House Democrats already had significant evidence from Mueller's investigation, including copies of summaries of FBI witness interviews.

Donald Trump says this is the way he rolls: "I won an election based on that, and that's the way it is".

William Taylor, the top United States diplomat in Ukraine, testified on Tuesday that Trump made the withheld aid contingent on Zelenskiy announcing the requested investigations. In the messages, Taylor wrote that he thought it was "crazy" to withhold aid from Ukraine for help with a political campaign.

Taylor told lawmakers that Bolton was "so irritated" that the administration linked "investigations" to a proposed meeting between Trump and Zelensky that he abruptly ended a July meeting at the White House and warned National Security Council staffers in attendance that "they should have nothing to do with domestic politics".

Fiona Hill, the president's former Russian Federation adviser, testified to the impeachment panel last week that Bolton was so concerned about the Ukraine intervention of Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal attorney, that he directed Hill to inform a White House lawyer.

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