Nov 3, 2019

WH aide to Mick Mulvaney told not to testify in impeachment probe

Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff Robert Blair walks on the South Lawn of the White House in May. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Robert Blair, senior advisor to acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, will not appear before House impeachment inquiry committees under a White House directive, the Financial Times first reported Saturday night.

What they're saying: Blair's attorney Whit Ellerman said in a statement to news outlets including the FT and CNN, "Blair is caught between the assertions of legal duty by two coequal branches of government, a conflict which he cannot resolve."

"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 big picture: Blair was requested to appear on Friday before three House committees investigating President Trump and Ukraine.

  • He has yet to receive a subpoena, but Ellerman told CNN the "direction from the White House" and advice from the Justice Department "on which it is based, covers subpoenas."

Go deeper: The coming appearances in House Democrats' impeachment probe

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Mulvaney fails to comply with House subpoena

Photo: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney failed to comply Friday with a subpoena ordering his testimony before the House committees investigating President Trump and Ukraine, according to a House official working on the impeachment inquiry.

Where it stands: Mulvaney's outside counsel said that he "had been directed by the White House not to comply with the duly authorized subpoena and asserted 'absolute immunity,'" per the official.

Go deeperArrowNov 8, 2019

Scoop: House committees subpoena Mick Mulvaney

White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images

The House committees investigating President Trump and Ukraine issued a subpoena Thursday night for acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to testify on Friday morning as part of their impeachment inquiry, two sources familiar tell Axios.

Why it matters: Mulvaney is the highest-ranking White House official to be subpoenaed yet, and the midnight-hour move suggests the committees are reaching into the final phase of their private investigation as they prepare to take their inquiry public next week.

Go deeperArrowNov 8, 2019

Judge to consider Mulvaney request to join suit naming Trump as defendant

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney speaks during an October briefing at the White House. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing for Monday on Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's request to join a pending lawsuit naming President Trump and congressional leaders as defendants, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Mulvaney asked late Friday to join former Deputy National Security Adviser Charles Kupperman's suit after he failed to comply with a subpoena ordering his testimony before the House committees investigating Trump and Ukraine.

Go deeperArrowNov 10, 2019