Mulvaney's bid to join impeachment lawsuit challenged

Cheryl Sanders
November 12, 2019

Attorneys for the House Democrats and the former deputy national security adviser, have jointly filed with a federal judge saying acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney should not be able to join an ongoing lawsuit filed last month.

The House committees conducting the inquiry opted not to subpoena Bolton after his attorney threatened to fight such a move in court, according to a committee official, and, unsurprisingly, the former national security adviser was a no-show Thursday.

Mulvaney on Friday asked to sign onto Kupperman's lawsuit, which seeks to have a court decide on compliance with congressional subpoenas.

Cooper said Mulvaney has "publicly discussed the events at issue in the House's impeachment inquiry, including appearing to admit there was a quid pro quo relationship" between a delay in military aid to Ukraine and the country opening investigations, referring to a White House briefing with Mulvaney in October.

Though Kupperman supports Mulvaney filing a separate lawsuit that would be heard by the same judge, Kupperman doesn't want to share his lawsuit with Mulvaney.

Cooper also argued that Kupperman's role as an adviser exclusively on "highly sensitive" national security matters differs from Mulvaney, who advises the president on a range of subjects.

The Washington Post reported Sunday, two days after Mulvaney joined the lawsuit through his personal lawyer, that he played a key role in Ukraine policy - which is at the center of the impeachment probe that seeks to uncover whether Trump used his office for political gain by using US military aid to Ukraine as a weapon.

Attorneys also point out that Kupperman is no longer part of the administration, unlike Mulvaney. That means that even if Kupperman were to be directed to testify, Mulvaney, as a current White House employee, could nonetheless look to shield himself behind a Justice Department legal opinion that says close advisers to the president should not have their attention diverted "at the whim of congressional committees".

Bolton and Kupperman have said they are willing to testify if the judge rules in favor of the House, The Washington Post previously reported.

"Unlike Kupperman, Mulvaney does not state that he would comply with his subpoena if this Court rejects the claimed absolute immunity", the House's general counsel wrote.

Other reports by iNewsToday