White House officials refusing to testify Monday in impeachment inquiry: report

White House officials refusing to testify Monday in impeachment inquiry: report
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Four White House officials will not show up for scheduled closed-door depositions on Monday as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Trump, CNN reports

An unidentified source told the network that National Security Council lawyers John Eisenberg and Michael Ellis will not testify. 

Two other officials, Robert Blair, assistant to the president and senior adviser to acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyMick Mulvaney to start hedge fund Fauci says positive White House task force reports don't always match what he hears on the ground Bottom line MORE, and Brian McCormack, associate director for natural resources energy and science at the Office of Management and Budget, had already declined to testify, outlets reported Saturday.

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An administration official told that CNN that Eisenberg is claiming executive privilege, while Blair, Ellis and McCormack said they are not going to appear because they won’t be able to have an administration lawyer present, according to CNN. 

Blair’s attorney, Whit Ellerman, also told Politico his client would still not show up if subpoenaed, adding that “direction from the White House and advice from [the Department of Justice] cover subpoena.”

Two other Office of Management and Budget officials, Michael Duffey and Russell Vought, will not show up to testimonies later this week, a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN. 

Outgoing Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push resolution to battle climate change, sluggish economy and racial injustice | Senators reach compromise on greenhouse gas amendment stalling energy bill | Trump courts Florida voters with offshore drilling moratorium OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs major conservation bill into law | Senate votes to confirm Energy's No. 2 official | Trump Jr. expresses opposition to Pebble Mine project Senate votes to confirm Energy's No. 2 official MORE refused to a request to testify Wednesday as part of the inquiry, a spokeswoman for his department, Shaylyn Haynes, told The Hill on Friday. 

The White House did not immediately respond for comment in response to the officials not testifying. 

The House Intelligence Committee issued subpoenas on Sunday for Ellis and Blair to appear before the panel, according to an official familiar with the inquiry.

House Democrats have called in witnesses to testify in closed-door depositions before three House committees leading the probe for weeks. The House voted last week largely along party lines in favor of an impeachment resolution, with just two Democrats joining all Republicans in voting against the measure. 

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTop Democrats call for DOJ watchdog to probe Barr over possible 2020 election influence Overnight Defense: Top admiral says 'no condition' where US should conduct nuclear test 'at this time' | Intelligence chief says Congress will get some in-person election security briefings Overnight Defense: House to vote on military justice bill spurred by Vanessa Guillén death | Biden courts veterans after Trump's military controversies MORE, a California Democrat leading the inquiry, has said public testimonies will begin soon but has not given a specific timeline. 

The inquiry is centered around Trump’s alleged solicitation of foreign interference in the 2020 election, with a focus on the president's communications with Ukraine. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.