Oct 4, 2019

House Democrats subpoena White House in impeachment inquiry

Mick Mulvaney. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House committees leading the impeachment inquiry against President Trump subpoenaed acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Friday.

The big picture: This comes after nearly a month of White House refusals to comply with House investigations into whether Trump jeopardized national security by pressing Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, and by withholding security assistance provided by Congress to help Ukraine, per the subpoena. The committees are demanding documents by Oct. 18.

  • "After nearly a month of stonewalling, it appears clear that the President has chosen the path of defiance, obstruction, and cover-up," the letter reads.

The state of play: Several White House officials have told Axios' Alayna Treene that the administration has no plans of complying with the committees' demands for interviews or documents without a full House vote formally approving an impeachment inquiry.

The big picture: The Trump administration's initial refusal to turn over the whistleblower complaint on the president's interactions with Ukraine is what led House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to finally support a formal impeachment inquiry.

Go deeper: Trump letter dares Pelosi to hold vote on impeachment inquiry

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Trey Gowdy agrees to serve as outside counsel for Trump

Trey Gowdy conducts a House Oversight and Government Reform committee hearing in 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

President Trump has asked former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy to assist him with legal advice from outside the White House and Gowdy has agreed, though details are yet to be finalized, according to people familiar with the situation.

Where it stands: As the president faces an impeachment inquiry, Gowdy can offer Trump another opinion on where legal theory meets political reality, a person familiar told Axios' Margaret Talev, adding that his Benghazi experience is seen as an asset. Gowdy is expected to advise the White House behind the scenes and appear on TV to advocate on behalf of the president.

Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019

House Democrats ask what Mike Pence knew about Ukraine

Trump and Pence speak on Sept. 30 at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

House committees leading the impeachment inquiry against President Trump requested documents on Friday from Vice President Mike Pence to examine the extent of his participation in or knowledge of Trump's actions while he allegedly pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden and his son.

The big picture: The committees are requesting these documents by Oct. 15 — if Pence fails to comply, a subpoena will follow. Per Axios' reporting, the White House is planning to send Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter arguing that Trump and his team can ignore lawmakers' demands until she holds a full House vote formally approving an impeachment inquiry.

Go deeperArrowOct 4, 2019

White House declares war on impeachment inquiry

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The White House sent a blistering 8-page letter to House Democratic leaders on Tuesday informing them that the Trump administration will not participate in their impeachment inquiry into the president, blasting it as "constitutionally illegitimate."

Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it. Because participating in this inquiry under the current unconstitutional posture would inflict lasting institutional harm on the Executive Branch and lasting damage to the separation of powers, you have left the President no choice.
Go deeperArrowOct 8, 2019