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Politics Robert Blair: Top aide to White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney refuses to testify before House impeachment inquiry

05:00  03 november  2019
05:00  03 november  2019 Source:   cnn.com

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The House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump are seeking testimony from Robert Blair , an assistant to the President and senior adviser to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney , a source familiar with the request told CNN.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney faced internal efforts to oust him before House Democrats White House official to testify in impeachment inquiry . Since the impeachment inquiry began, Mulvaney has been locked in a feud with White House counsel Pat Cipollone.

A top aide to White House Chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Robert Blair, has refused to testify in the House impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump after the White House directed him not to appear for his scheduled deposition, his attorney told CNN.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Robert Blair, senior adviser to the White House Chief of Staff, walks to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, May 8, 2019.© Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images Robert Blair, senior adviser to the White House Chief of Staff, walks to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, May 8, 2019.

The House committees investigating Trump had scheduled Blair's deposition for Monday.

"Mr. Blair is caught between the assertions of legal duty by two coequal branches of government, a conflict which he cannot resolve," Blair's attorney Whit Ellerman told CNN on Saturday.

Judge fast-tracks case over former White House official's refusal to testify in impeachment inquiry

  Judge fast-tracks case over former White House official's refusal to testify in impeachment inquiry A federal judge on Thursday fast-tracked a case involving a key impeachment witness caught between House Democrats seeking to compel his testimony and a White House order to defy a congressional subpoena. Judge Richard Leon, a George W. Bush appointee to the federal district court in D.C., called the legal dispute over the testimony of Charles Kupperman, a former deputy to former national security adviser John Bolton, a "matter of great publicJudge Richard Leon, a George W. Bush appointee to the federal district court in D.C.

"The White House has refused to engage with — or even respond to — multiple requests for 16, 2019, after testifying before congressional lawmakers as part of the House impeachment inquiry Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney answers questions during a briefing at the White

On Tuesday, a White House budget official, Michael Duffey, is scheduled to testify ; on Wednesday, investigators want to talk to T. Ulrich The former national security adviser would be the closest person to President Trump to testify . Multiple witnesses have said he objected to the president’s dealings

"In light of the clear direction he has been given by the executive branch, Mr. Blair has respectfully declined to appear and testify. Nevertheless, he will fulfill all his legal duties once that conflict is appropriately resolved."

The Financial Times first reported the news of Blair's decision.

Blair has not yet received a subpoena, but Ellerman said Blair will still refuse to testify if he is subpoenaed.

"The direction from the White House, and the advice from (Department of Justice) on which it is based, covers subpoenas," he said.

Blair, who previously served as associate director for national security programs in the Office of Management and Budget, followed Mulvaney to the West Wing in January as his national security adviser after Mulvaney became acting chief of staff.

While Mulvaney was not on the call between Trump and the Ukrainian President in July, Blair was one of just a small group of officials on the line during Trump's controversial call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on June 25.

Before joining the Trump administration, Blair served as staff director on the House Subcommittee on Defense Appropriations.

Mulvaney to file separate suit to fight impeachment subpoena .
Mick Mulvaney, President Trump's acting chief of staff, told a federal judge that he is withdrawing from his effort to join a former White House aide's lawsuit against House Democrats and intends to file his own case in an effort to fight a subpoena as part of the impeachment inquiry. Mulvaney last week had asked to join the original case, which would have put him in the awkward position of essentially suing his own boss. That suit was filed by Charles Kupperman, a former deputy national security who was essentially asking the court for guidance on whether the president could order current and former White House officials to defy congressional subpoenas.

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