Trump impeachment investigation: Mick Mulvaney defies citation

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the presentation of the Presidential Citizens Medal awarded posthumously to Richard Rescorla in the East Room of the White House in Washington. REUTERS  Leah Millis

Mulvaney Seeks Court Guidance Over House Demand for Testimony

The ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes of California, sent the list Saturday to committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California, who is unlikely to approve all of the witnesses on it.

Hunter Biden (left) and Joe Biden.

House Republicans came forward Saturday with a list of eight witnesses they want the House Intelligence Committee to hear from in the public hearings set to start this coming week.

Vindman described the April call as "positive", in which "the President expressed his desire to work with President Zelensky and extended an invitation to visit the White House", according to a transcript (pdf) of his closed-door hearing released by the House Intelligence Committee. That call occurred months before the one in July that has been the focus of the impeachment inquiry.

Nunes said testimony from Hunter Biden and the whistleblower would boost transparency in an "opaque and unfair process".

Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, must approve witness requests submitted by Republicans.

Schiff added, "This inquiry is not, and will not serve, however, as a vehicle to undertake the same sham investigations into the Bidens or 2016 that the President pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit, or to facilitate the President's effort to threaten, intimidate, and retaliate against the whistleblower who courageously raised the initial alarm".

-Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and Office of Management and Budget associate director Marky Sandy defied House investigator subpoenas and were no-shows for their scheduled depositions.

The report expressed concern over a phone call a month earlier in which Mr Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden, a Democratic front-runner for the 2020 United States presidential election.

The whistleblower alleged that Trump sought investigations into the Bidens in return for granting Zelenskiy an Oval Office visit and allowing the delivery of almost $400 million in security aid needed by Ukraine to defend against Russia-backed separatists. Both testified they were concerned Trump was inappropriately pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democrats.

The impeachment investigation has escalated after several witnesses testified behind closed doors that they believed that $400 million in military aid to Ukraine and a meeting with Zelensky hinged on Kiev complying with Trump's request to investigate Biden and 2016 election meddling.

Ambassador William Taylor, a diplomat to Ukraine, and George Kent, deputy assistant secretary for European affairs, are scheduled to testify on November 13, while Marie Yovanovitch, the former USA ambassador to Ukraine, will testify on November 15, according to Schiff. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community.

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