Politics House withdraws subpoena for former National Security Council deputy Charles Kupperman
Charles Kupperman: Former deputy national security adviser declines to show for impeachment inquiry deposition Monday
President Donald Trump's former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman defied a congressional subpoena Monday, failing to appear for a closed-door deposition before House impeachment investigators and throwing a new hurdle into Democrats' plans to quickly gather evidence in their inquiry. Kupperman filed a lawsuit on Friday asking a judge to rule whether he had to comply with the House subpoena, given the White House's stance that the impeachment inquiry is illegitimate.
House Democrats on Wednesday withdrew a subpoena for former White House Deputy National Security Adviser Charles Kupperman, less than two weeks afterwhether he should comply with the order.
Kupperman, who left the administration when National Security Adviser John Bolton exited in September, was slated to appear before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees last month as part of theirand the Trump-Ukraine controversy.
Filing last month with U.S. District Court in Washington, Kupperman said he “cannot satisfy the competing demands of both the legislative and executive branches.” He said without the court’s help, he would have to make the decision himself, acknowledging that it could “inflict grave constitutional injury” on either Congress or the presidency.
Analysis: How 'do us a favor' led to Trump impeachment inquiry
How we got here is something of a play in three acts, involving machinations by Ukrainians, Trump and Democrats in turn, with the fourth act to be written. ___THE BLACK EARTHUkraine is a land of dark, fertile soil where corruption and assorted American conspiracy theories have taken root along with the wheat and cabbage. Trump's preoccupation with Joe Biden and his son Hunter flourished there.A true if flawed democracy on Russia's doorstep, Ukraine in 2014 ushered out a pro-Russian leader who tolerated corruption and replaced him with an anti-Russian leader who tolerated somewhat less corruption.
A judge had scheduled a hearing for the matter in December, but that will now likely be canceled.
“The subpoena at issue in this matter has been withdrawn and there is no current intention to reissue it,” the court filing stated. “Therefore, this matter is moot and should be dismissed.”
Kupperman served as a deputy to Bolton, and the National Security Council’s current Russia and Europe director, Tim Morrison.
The subpoena withdrawal comes as the House announced plans to hold public hearings next week as part of the impeachment probe. Three State Department officials will testify in hearings Nov. 13 and Nov. 15, according to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. Schiff is leading the probe.
Schiff tweeted that top Ukraine diplomat William Taylor, career department official George Kent and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will testify. Yovanovitch was ousted in May at Trump's direction.
Impeachment: Ex-Trump adviser John Bolton faces tightrope as Democrats seek his testimony on Ukraine
If he shows up Thursday, Bolton would be the highest-ranking Trump administration official to testify in the impeachmnt inquiry.Bolton is a hard-charging hawk who clashed repeatedly with his boss, President Donald Trump, and left the White House under acrimonious circumstances. But he is also a GOP stalwart who will likely resist becoming a pawn in the House Democrats' polarizing impeachment probe.
All three have previously testified behind closed doors.
The Democrats are investigating Trump's dealings with Ukraine and his requests for politically motivated investigations while the U.S. was holding on to several hundred million dollars in military aid for the Ukrainians.
Democrats on Wednesday also released hundreds of pages of testimony from Taylor’s time on Capitol Hill.
Taylor told impeachment investigators he understood that the security assistance, and not just a White House meeting for Ukraine's new president, was conditioned on the country committing to investigations of Trump rival Joe Biden and Democrats' actions in the 2016 election.
"That was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until the president committed to pursue the investigation," Taylor said.
He was asked if he was aware that "quid pro quo" meant "this for that."
"I am," he replied.
The testimony from Taylor further connects the Trump administration to a quid-pro-quo arrangement involving Ukraine that is now at the heart of the House impeachment inquiry.
Fox News’ William Mears, Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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