Two more White House officials skip impeachment depositions

Two more White House officials skip impeachment depositions
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Two administration officials did not appear Tuesday for scheduled testimony in the House impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Trump to hold outdoor rally in New Hampshire on Saturday Eighty-eight years of debt pieties MORE, making them the latest White House aides to skip planned depositions.

Wells Griffith, a special assistant to the president and senior director for international energy and environment on the National Security Council, did not appear for his Tuesday morning deposition. Michael Duffey, associate director for national security at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), was absent for his closed-door hearing slated for Tuesday afternoon.

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The move came the same day House Democrats released transcripts of depositions with U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt VolkerKurt VolkerGOP senators request details on Hunter Biden's travel for probe Yovanovitch retires from State Department: reports Live coverage: Senators enter second day of questions in impeachment trial MORE.

Sondland revised his earlier testimony, saying in the latest version that the president’s dealings with Ukraine amounted to a clear quid pro quo.

House Democrats are seeking testimony from Griffith because of his participation in a July meeting at the White House with Ukrainian officials, while Duffey was subpoenaed over his alleged involvement in withholding the $400 million in aid to Ukraine, The Washington Post reports.

Acting OMB Director Russell Vought — who has been called to testify on Wednesday — took to social media earlier this month to say neither he nor Duffey planned to give depositions in a probe that the White House has called "illegitimate."

"I saw some Fake News over the weekend to correct. As the WH letter made clear two weeks ago, OMB officials - myself and Mike Duffey - will not be complying with deposition requests this week. #shamprocess,” he tweeted on Oct. 21.

Four White House officials also opted not to testify before the three panels overseeing impeachment — the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform committees — on Monday.

“We may infer by the White House obstruction here, that their testimony would be further incriminating of the President,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocrats hit Trump for handling of Russian bounty allegations after White House briefing Voters must strongly reject the president's abuses by voting him out this November Democrats face tough questions with Bolton MORE (D-Calif.) said Monday.