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Trump disappoints as White House efforts to counter impeachment investigation fail to halt witness testimony, advisers say



The Democratic Strategy received an endorsement on Friday by a federal judge who ruled that the impeachment investigation in the House was legal. House investigators are due to hear testimony from five other witnesses next week, including on Saturday an acting Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, who is expected to testify about efforts to remove the former US ambassador.

a sign of the growing realization of his potential danger, Trump returned Jane and Marty Raskin, criminal defense attorneys who were part of his legal team during Mueller's investigation, to help him navigate the investigation into impeachment, along with his lawyer Jay Seklow and White House attorneys. Their return is a late admission, some White House advisers say the facts are bad for the president and that both his White House and his personal attorneys should try to deal with what may come up more

A rebuilt legal team competes to master details of the administration's relations with Ukraine, along with efforts by their longtime associate Rudolf W. Giuliani to urge Ukrainian officials to investigate Trump's democratic rivals.

In the meantime, White House officials have begun holding regular impeachment strategy meetings, often in the situation hall. Some advisers discuss attracting a veteran lawyer with experience in impeachment and actively seeking a communications strategist according to counselors and staff.

The White House did not respond to requests for comment. Sekulov and Raskins declined to comment.

The delayed feud ̵

1; a month after the House officially began its impeachment investigation – served to acknowledge that the White House's strategy to refuse to cooperate with the probe failed to stimulate it, according to Trump's advisers and people involved in responding to requests of the Chamber.

This post is guided by Trump, who dictates much of the challenging letter sent by White House adviser Pat Tsipolon to House leaders earlier this month, claiming the investigation was constitutionally invalid for people familiar with the matter. with his role. They, like others in this story, spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private conversations in the White House.

This put administration officials called to appear on the hill in a box. Late Friday, Charles Kopperman, former Deputy National Security Advisor John Bolton, went to court to ask a federal judge how to resolve the conflicting orders he faces: one from Congress requiring his testimony and the other from White home claiming he had witness immunity and instructed him not to appear. Cooper, who is seeking an expedited ruling, is represented by Attorney Charles Cooper, who is also a lawyer for Bolton.

Although the Democrats have not yet been able to secure the participation of all witnesses sought, nine key figures testify so far, including two current ambassadors and a Pentagon official.

This is largely due to the fact that the attorneys of the officials invited to the deposition concluded that the White House's legal arguments were weak compared to the subpoena, according to people familiar with the talks.

While senior White House advisers have reason to say that they can legitimately ignore a call in Congress because of concerns about executive privileges, that's not the case with career officials, legal experts said.

As a result, civilians within the bureaucracy that Trump declares as the "Deep State" are giving Congress a series of damaging bills for the extent of the effort to push Ukraine.

"These are public servants who are aware that their duty is a public service and an honor of the Constitution. ,, and [some] are deeply concerned about the horrific abuses they've witnessed, "says Bruce Fried, president of the Nonprofit Center for Political Accountability, which promotes transparency in government and campaigns. The White House has not issued an order or taken any other legal step to stop the parade of officials sharing what they have seen and heard.

"Many Trump allies are concerned and do not understand the strategy of not ordering," said Jason Miller, an ally of Trump. "This is a scratcher on the head. President Trump and the administration have made it clear that they do not want people involved in this grim process to overcome the entire privilege of the president. "

The success Democrats have made in providing powerful testimony is in stark contrast to their efforts earlier in the year when they tried to interview former White House advisers about Trump's efforts to block the investigation in Russia.

At that time, the White House referred to the risks of executive privilege – directing witnesses such as former White House lawyer Donald McGon and former communications director Hope Hicks that they could not share their bills with Congress without jeopardizing confidential conversations they had with the president.

The allegation was not regulated by law, but it works: Despite the summons, McGon refused to give evidence and Hicks agreed to attend a closed-door session, accompanied by White House attorneys, but then refused to answer questions about her me in the White House.

In the impeachment investigation, the administration sought to use the same notebook, warning witnesses that they should not participate, according to points of conversation and letters sent by employees of the best agencies to their employees. [19659002] Cipollone's main argument: The House impeachment investigation was not lawfully "authorized" by a vote in the House and therefore the administration was not required to participate.

"Your request is constitutionally invalid and is a breach of due process," he wrote in his letter of 8 October to the leaders of the Chamber. "For the reasons set out above, the president cannot allow your constitutionally unlawful proceedings to divert attention from him and those in the executive branch from their work on behalf of the American people."

However, the House can make its own rules and conduct investigations . legal experts said on their own terms. On Friday, US Chief District Judge Beryl A. Howell of Washington rejected Republican arguments that the House must first vote to allow an impeachment investigation, calling the term politically "attractive" but legally "fatally wrong."

"No governing law requires this test – not the Constitution, not the House Rules, not [the grand jury secrecy rule]and so imposing this test would be unacceptable interference with the constitutional authority of the House," Howell writes.

also argue that witnesses should not testify unless an attorney for the administration is present – an argument the White House makes in conversation points circulated to Republicans when incumbent ambassador Marie Jovanovic faces demands from the House.

Without a government lawyer The White House, for its part, claims "there is a serious risk that it would breach its duty as a current employee not to disclose such information without permission."

The Ho use the Intelligence Committee in response to the call, saying that " The Trump administration does not co-operate without force. "

Jovanovic respects and details in his testimony details of her abrupt ouster from Ukraine.

"Today, we see that the State Department is attacked and cooked inside," she said in prepared remarks received by the Washington Post, warning that US adversaries such as Russia are in favor, "when bad actors in countries beyond Ukraine, they see how easy it is to use fantasy and the intention to manipulate our system. "

Similar efforts to prevent testimony this week from Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper also failed. In a letter to her lawyer, the Pentagon urged her not to participate in the investigation, according to a copy obtained by The Post.

"This letter informs you and Mrs. Cooper of the Directorate-General for Administration that the officers of the executive branch" cannot be involved in the investigation [the impeachment] in these circumstances, "writes Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist. "If the committees issue a summons to compel Mrs. Cooper to appear, you must be aware that the Supreme Court has held. , that a person cannot be sanctioned for refusing to comply with a congressional call in Congress that is not authorized by the House Rules or Resolution. "

However, she showed up to testify. Her interview was delayed by hours when GOP lawmakers entered the adjournment, a tactic promoted by Trump, according to people familiar with his role.

As the investigation progressed, Trump expressed anger at the number of people who were witnesses, asking why they could not be stopped, according to advisers.

White House officials are discussing the need to hire another high-level lawyer, someone with the skills of former White House lawyer Emmett Flood, who worked for President Bill Clinton's impeachment team.

Earlier in the month, White House officials said former Congressman Trey Goody came on board to assist the legal team, but later said he could not start until January because of federal lobbying rules.

Meanwhile, the president has raised calls to lawmakers in recent days, trying to make his case individually to each Republican senator, according to a senior administration official.

Sep. Lindsay O. Graham (R-S.C.), Who met Trump at the White House Thursday at noon, said the president was a challenger. "He was just saying he didn't do anything wrong, he didn't do anything wrong," Graham said in an interview. "He says it again and again."

Graham said he wanted to see a more aggressive legal and communications team: "I was on the receiving end of the Clinton team. They were good. They knew what they were doing. "

" I hope we can get a more coordinated message, "Graham added. "They're working on it."

Spencer S. Hsu and Tom Hamburger contributed to this report.


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