Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Friday defied a subpoena for his testimony in the House impeachment probe at the last minute, in what is likely the Democrats’ final effort to hear privately from witnesses about President Trump’s contacts with Ukraine before their inquiry goes public.
Mulvaney did not appear for his closed-door deposition in the Capitol, citing White House claims of immunity, according to an official working on the inquiry. The official said Mulvaney’s outside counsel informed House investigators “one minute” before his scheduled deposition that he would not appear.
“This morning, one minute before his scheduled deposition was to start, Mr. Mulvaney’s outside counsel informed us that his client had been directed by the White House not to comply with the duly authorized subpoena and asserted ‘absolute immunity,'” the official said in a statement.
Democrats said that the refusal to testify will add to their case arguing that the Trump administration sought to obstruct their impeachment inquiry.
“If the White House had evidence to contest those facts, they would allow Mr. Mulvaney to be deposed, as three chiefs of staffs of President Clinton were during his impeachment proceedings,” the official added.
President Trump, when asked by reporters Friday why Mulvaney would not appear, said he did not want to “give credibility to a corrupt witch hunt.”
“I’d love to have Mick go up, frankly,” he added.
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