Mulvaney’s bid to join impeachment lawsuit challenged

11 Novembre, 2019, 23:55 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Mulvaney’s bid to join impeachment lawsuit challenged

House Democrats and former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman separately asked a federal judge on Monday to block President Trump's acting chief of staff from intervening in a lawsuit over subpoenas related to the House's impeachment inquiry.

DOJ, Kupperman explained, will "vigorously champion Mulvaney's interest in the President's assertion of absolute immunity overriding Mulvaney's obligation to appear and testify in response to the House subpoena".

Mulvaney on Friday asked to sign onto Kupperman's lawsuit, which asked a court to decide on compliance with congressional subpoenas.

Kupperman's filing also stated that while he "has never publicly disclosed information relating to any of his official duties", Mulvaney has commented publicly, appearing to admit and then deny a "quid pro quo" relationship between Trump's decision to withhold USA security aid to Ukraine and a request that officials there investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Cooper in his filing argues that Kupperman is neutral, and note Mulvaney is not, writing in part, "Mulvaney has made it clear that he supports the Executive, and he accordingly seeks declaratory relief against only the House Defendants".

Trump reportedly ordered aid to Ukraine held up after asking its president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in July to investigate former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter for corruption.

Cooper says there are important distinctions between Mulvaney and Kupperman's situations, including that Mulvaney has already spoken publicly about issues central to the impeachment inquiry.

"An admission he subsequently sought to disavow", Cooper wrote.

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"Plaintiff, in contrast, has never publicly disclosed information relating to any of his official duties, including the matters under investigation by the House", Cooper wrote of Kupperman. "And, unlike Kupperman, Mulvaney remains subject to a subpoena that has not been withdrawn".

While Kupperman is now a private citizen, any ruling on Mulvaney would broach issues involving a DOJ argument that presidential advisers are immune from testifying because preparations would divert them from their regular duties.

On Saturday, Mulvaney's attorney William Pittard filed a motion requesting to join the suit, arguing the two officials were in similar circumstances, since both had received subpoenas and were told not to comply by the White House.

Mulvaney was issued a subpoena to appear for a deposition last week, which he ignored.

"The Court should reject such gamesmanship and deny Mulvaney's motion", Letter said, particularly because as White House chief of staff, Mulvaney "likely played a role in the decision" to assert absolute immunity for himself.

In their filing on Monday, Democrats argue "this case is moot ..."

Rather, they suggest they're open to receiving a friend-of-the-court brief from Mulvaney about his view of the matter.



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