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

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

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 MulvaneyHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Trump holdovers are denying Social Security benefits to the hardest working Americans Mulvaney calls Trump's comments on Capitol riot 'manifestly false' 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 PerryRepublicans are the 21st-century Know-Nothing Party College football move rocks Texas legislature Trump tries to spin failed Texas endorsement: 'This was a win' 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 SchiffOvernight Hillicon Valley — Hacking goes global Schiff calls on Amazon, Facebook to address spread of vaccine misinformation Spotlight turns to GOP's McCarthy in Jan. 6 probe 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.