House Democrats shuffle impeachment depositions due to events honoring Cummings

House Democrats shuffle impeachment depositions due to events honoring Cummings
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House Democrats have shuffled the dates of scheduled depositions in their impeachment inquiry because of events honoring Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsMaryland postpones primary over coronavirus fears Maryland governor: 'Simply not enough supplies' on hand to tackle coronavirus Meadows joins White House facing reelection challenges MORE (D-Md.), who died last week.

An official working on the inquiry said that due to the events honoring Cummings, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee before his death, no depositions would be held Thursday and Friday.

William Taylor, a career foreign service official who has served as chargé d'affaires for Ukraine since June, is expected to testify Tuesday; and Laura Cooper, a top Pentagon official, is expected to testify Wednesday. 

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The changes shake up the original schedule Democrats had planned for this week.

In addition to several postponements, Democrats also have seen Trump administration officials vow not to comply with their subpoenas.

Acting Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Russ Vought on Monday disputed reports that he and OMB's associate director for national security programs, Michael Duffey, planned to cooperate with the House’s impeachment inquiry.

“I saw some Fake News over the weekend to correct," Vought tweeted.

"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,” Vought wrote.

The White House wrote a letter to Congress last week that barred former and current White House employees from testifying on Capitol Hill about their time in the administration.

While Vought's appearance was rumored, Duffey's name was on an internal Democratic witness list that was circulated around late last week. 

Other officials who had been expected to testify this week include Philip Reeker, the acting assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs; Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the director for European affairs at the National Security Council (NSC); Tim Morrison, who took over Fiona Hill’s role as the senior director for European and Russian affairs on the NSC; and Suriya Jayanti, a foreign service officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev. 

The delays also raise questions about Democrats' impeachment timeline.

Democrats have no set goal for when to conclude their work, but there has been speculation that the three committees conducting the work are moving toward an informal deadline of Thanksgiving. 

Multiple Democratic lawmakers have indicated that they are aiming to wrap up the impeachment inquiry by the end of the year.

Cummings died last week at the age of 68 “due to complications concerning longstanding health challenges,” according to his office.