Former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman will not appear for a scheduled deposition Monday before three House congressional committees involved in leading the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, House Oversight Committee ranking member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said Monday.
The White House is trying to block his appearance, and Kupperman, who worked under former national security adviser John Bolton, filed a lawsuit Friday asking a federal judge to rule on whether he must testify under a congressional subpoena.
Three Democratic committee chairmen said that Kupperman was simply trying to delay the deposition.
“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 the lawful constitutional functions of Congress and conceal evidence about his conduct from the impeachment inquiry,” said Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chairwoman of House Oversight and Reform.
They said that if Kupperman doesn’t cooperate with the subpoena, it would give greater weight to the obstruction case against the president.
“In light of the direction from the White House, which lacks any valid legal basis, the Committees shall consider your client’s defiance of a congressional subpoena as additional evidence of the President’s obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry,” they wrote. “Such willful defiance of a duly authorized subpoena may cause the Committees to draw an adverse inference against the President, including that your client’s testimony would have corroborated other evidence gathered by the Committees showing that the President abused the power of his office by attempting to press another nation to assist his own personal political interests and not the national interest.”