House Democrats abruptly withdrew their subpoena for former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman, who had asked a judge to rule on whether he should appear before committees conducting an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
Democrats yanked the subpoena for ex-aide to former National Security Adviser John Bolton a week after a federal judge had put the case on the fast track.
“The subpoena at issue in this matter has been withdrawn and there is no current intention to reissue it,” said a letter filed by lawyers for top Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff.
In the letter, the chairmen of the committees leading the impeachment inquiry asked Kupperman’s attorneys if he would accept a separate ruling on a subpoena that involves former White House counsel Don McGahn.
McGahn’s case is “much closer to resolution by the court than Dr. Kupperman’s flawed suit. Unless your lawsuit was admittedly only for purposes of delay, and without a subpoena in force, the Committees expect that your client will voluntarily dismiss the complaint he filed in the United States District Court of the District of Columbia on the same day he received Committee’s subpoena and be guided by the decision in McGahn,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Schiff (D-CA.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY), and acting Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) wrote.
“A House Intelligence Committee official explained why the House withdrew the subpoena for Kupperman, noting the court process ‘would only result in delay.’ ” CNN reported.
“There is no proper basis for a witness to sue the Congress in court to oppose a duly authorized congressional subpoena,” the official said. “Nevertheless, given the schedule of our impeachment hearings, a court process that leads to the dismissal of Dr. Kupperman’s flawed lawsuit would only result in delay, so we have withdrawn his subpoena.”
The House told Kupperman’s attorney on Tuesday it still would be interested in speaking with him in the impeachment inquiry, and that he should sit for a deposition if another federal judge knocks down the White House’s blocking tactic in McGahn’s case. McGahn was subpoenaed in April to discuss the President’s attempts to obstruct the Russia investigation.
Kupperman had filed suit after receiving the subpoena to get a ruling on whether he must testify. The White House, citing immunity for White House officials, said he need not appear.