Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney asked a court on Friday to allow him to join a lawsuit testing the House’s ability to subpoena him in its impeachment investigation into President Trump.
Mulvaney skipped a scheduled appearance on Friday to testify behind closed doors on Capitol Hill, claiming he was legally immune after the White House told him to not appear. Two witnesses whose testimony was publicized Friday said that he was a key player in trying to pressure Ukraine to open investigations that would be politically helpful to Trump.
Later Friday evening Mulvaney asked a federal court to allow him to join a lawsuit to provide guidance on the House’s powers, saying he cannot choose between the White House’s instruction and the House’s subpoena.
Mulvaney’s lawyers wrote that the questions raised in the lawsuit “are significant for the country generally and for Mr. Mulvaney personally” and “go to the heart of our representative government and its promise to secure individual liberty by dividing the awesome power of government amongst itself. “
“Mr. Mulvaney, like Mr. Kupperman, finds himself caught in that division, trapped between the commands of two of its co-equal branches — with one of those branches threatening him with contempt. He turns to this Court for aid.”
Mulvaney is asking to be added to a lawsuit filed last month by Charles Kupperman, who served as Trump’s deputy national security adviser and was subpoenaed by House Democrats last month to testify in their investigation into the president’s dealings with Ukraine.
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