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Politics White House officials won't testify in Trump impeachment probe Monday

16:35  04 november  2019
16:35  04 november  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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  Touting membership cards, Trump campaign steps up anti-impeachment Facebook ads President Donald Trump's re-election campaign is ramping up a Facebook ad blitz.(Pictured) Donald Trump, accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaks on Oct. 23 in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.

Separately, four White House officials scheduled to appear before the House Oversight, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees did not show up. The president blocked a subpoena for Kupperman to testify in the impeachment inquiry. “Mr. Eisenberg, as a lawyer and officer of the court, will abide

Four senior White House officials refused to testify Monday to House impeachment investigators, a sign Democrats have exhausted their best leads for evidence against President Donald Trump . Those witnesses, including the White House ’s top national security lawyer John Eisenberg

WASHINGTON – The impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump moves forward Monday even as the full House of Representatives is on a week-long break. 

Four White House officials scheduled to appear before the House Oversight, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees, are not expected to show up, according to multiple media reports.  

Two of the officials — John Eisenberg, the National Security Council’s lawyer, and his deputy, Michael Ellis — fielded concerns from other officials about U.S. policy with Ukraine and are said to have knowledge of Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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  New testimony ties Trump more directly to Ukraine pressure campaign The acting ambassador to Ukraine described a phone call in which the president checked on the status of “the investigations.”William B. Taylor Jr., the acting ambassador to Ukraine, told lawmakers that the phone conversation between the president and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland in Kyiv was overheard by one of his aides. Afterward, Sondland told the aide that Trump cared more about investigations of former vice president Joe Biden than other issues in Ukraine, Taylor said.

A federal judge has ruled that White House staff can be made to testify before Congress, rejecting the Trump administration's claims of immunity. The impeachment inquiry is trying to establish whether Mr Trump pressured Ukraine's president to investigate his political rival Joe Biden.

WASHINGTON — A former White House national security official defied a House subpoena Monday , prompting the Democrat leading the impeachment probe to declare that President Donald Trump ’s administration is “building a powerful case” for his impeachment .

The others include Robert Blair, a senior adviser to Trump's acting chief of staff, and Brian McCormack, an official at the Office of Management and Budget.

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Along with all this, the president is hosting a campaign rally in Lexington, Kentucky.

Follow along for the latest impeachment updates on Monday: 

Four officials scheduled to testify

John Eisenberg, the National Security Council’s lawyer, and his deputy, Michael Ellis, are two of the officials that impeachment investigators summoned Monday. Both are expected to avoid testifying, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a Ukraine expert at the NSC, testified Oct. 29 that he was concerned about the July 25 phone call when Trump urged Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden while withholding nearly $400 million in military aid. Vindman listened to the call and reported his concerns to Eisenberg.

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WASHINGTON — A former White House national security official defied a House subpoena Monday , prompting the Democrat leading the impeachment probe to declare that President Donald Trump ’s administration is “building a powerful case” for his impeachment . Charles Kupperman , who was a

All four White House officials who are scheduled to give depositions on Monday during the House 's impeachment inquiry won ' t show up, as a source with knowledge of the situation tells CNN that National Security Council lawyers John Eisenberg and Michael Ellis will not testify .

Photo gallery by photo services

“I was concerned by the call,” Vindman told the House inquiry. “I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine.”

Trump has insisted that he was justified in urging Ukraine to investigate corruption.

Vindman said Eisenberg suggested storing the document that summarized the call to a computer used for highly classified material. Ellis was with Eisenberg when he made the suggestion.

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Other White House witnesses scheduled Monday are Robert Blair, a senior adviser to Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and Brian McCormack, the associate director for natural resources at the Office of Management and Budget. Blair and McCormack are also not expected to show up for testimony today, according to CNN

McCormack previously worked as Rick Perry's chief of staff before Perry announced his resignation as Energy Secretary. Perry has also been scrutinized as he was the official who set up the July 25 phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president and also led the U.S. delegation to Ukraine for Zelensky's inauguration. 

Perry had been invited to testify Wednesday, but the Energy Department released a statement Friday saying, “The Secretary will not partake in a secret star chamber inquisition where agency counsel is forbidden to be present."

Contributing: Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: White House officials won't testify in Trump impeachment probe Monday: latest updates

Public impeachment testimony is set to begin. Here are the lawmakers to watch .
Republican lawmakers on the committee will try to cast doubt on the impeachment testimony from a trio of diplomats.WASHINGTON – Public hearings are set to begin Wednesday in the impeachment inquiry into allegations that President Donald Trump used military aid as leverage to pressure Ukraine into conducting investigations that stood to benefit him politically.

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