Charles Kupperman filed a lawsuit to determine whether he should follow the White House’s directive that he not testify before the House’s impeachment hearings. The former national security adviser claimed that he was facing “irreconcilable demands” between the Executive and Legislative branches of the government. The House impeachment hearing chairs responded powerfully.
Kupperman requested that a federal judge give a ruling on whether he had to testify before the committee when he received a subpoena or follow the president’s decree. He said he was facing “irreconcilable demands” between the two branches of government, according to the representatives’ letter:
‘[The] Plaintiff obviously cannot satisfy the competing demands of both the legislative and executive branches, and he is aware of no controlling judicial authority definitively establishing which branch’s command should prevail.’
The White House has invoked constitutional immunity to prevent Kupperman and others from testifying, taking the executive privilege way beyond its intent. Trump asserted that the person in question cannot be compelled to testify before Congress or appear at a hearing.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), acting Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Elliot Engel (D-NY) sent a letter, in response to Charles Kupperman’s lawsuit that kept anyone in the White House administration and career government employees, past and present, from responding to a House subpoena.
They called the lawsuit “without merit.” The president cannot invoke executive privilege and prevent people from responding to the subpoenas.
The leaders of three House committees involved in the impeachment wrote in their letter that the lawsuit was “without Merit:”
‘Notwithstanding this attempted obstruction, the duly authorized subpoena remains in full force and Dr. Kupperman remains legally obligated to appear for the deposition on Monday. The deposition will begin on time and, should your client defy the subpoena, his absence will constitute evidence that may be used against him in a contempt proceeding.’
The letter continued, calling the White House’s “absolute immunity”…”overbroad assertion of ‘absolute immunity:”
‘Such willful defiance of a duly authorized subpoena may cause the committees to draw an adverse inference against the president. “The White House’s overbroad assertion of “absolute immunity,” at its core, is another example of the president’s stonewalling of Congress and concerted efforts to obstruct the House’s impeachment inquiry.’
They wrote one paragraph in bold letters and further emphasized the “attempted obstruction” of the committees’ “duly authorized subpoena remain in full force.” In addition, they demanded Kupperman “appear for the deposition on Monday:”
‘Dr. Kupperman’s lawsuit — lacking in legal merit and apparently coordinated with the White House — is an obvious and desperate tactic by the President to delay and obstruct from the impeachment inquiry. Notwithstanding this attempted obstruction, the duly authorized subpoena remain in full force and Dr. Kupperman remain legally obligated to appear for the deposition on Monday. The deposition will begin on time and, should your client defy the subpoena, his absence will constitute evidence that may be used against him in a contempt proceeding.’
The House representatives’ letter follows below in its entirety:
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.