Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Impeachment Inquiry Committees Subpoena White House Chief of Staff

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Friday evening the House Intelligence Committee, the House Oversight Committee, and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced via Twitter, that a subpoena has been sent to President Trump’s Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, as part of the impeachment inquiry investigating President Trump.

According to the joint committees statement, the subpoena comes after the White House has failed to respond to a Sept. 9th, letter, that set the deadline of Sept. 16th, to produce documents requested. Again the committees issued a follow-up letter on Sept. 24th, and a new deadline to produce the documents by Sept. 26th.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings on the 2nd of October sent a memo informing other members his intent to file the subpoena saying that he did not take the step lightly. But given the failure by the White House to even respond to the first two requests to voluntarily provide the Oversight Committee with the requested documents, he was left with no choice.

I do not take this step lightly. Over the past several weeks, the Committees tried several times to obtain voluntary compliance with our requests for documents, but the White House has refused to engage with—or even respond to—the Committees.

Cummings memo Oct 2nd.

The first two letters were addressed to Pat Cipollone, Counsel to the President.

In the third letter the committee chairmen, tell Mulvaney, that if the White House fails to comply it will be viewed by the committees as Obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry.

Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena, including at the direction of or the behest of the President or others at the White House, shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the President.

Joint Committee Letter 10/4/19.

On Thursday House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tweeted a letter he sent to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) requesting that she suspend the impeachment inquiry until such time as a House floor vote could be held. Pelosi responded to his letter explaining that a floor vote was not necessary nor was it Constitutionally mandated.

Axios reported that the White House has plans to send a letter to Pelosi that says the White House can ignore all requests from the House Committees until Pelosi holds a floor vote approving an official House impeachment inquiry.

In their joint letter the committee Chairmen explain that there is no such requirement in the Constitution or in the House Rules, that support the White House’s position.

The Chairmen concluded their statement by writing, “We deeply regret that President Trump has put us—and the nation—in this position, but his actions have left us with no choice but to issue this subpoena.”

The committees have given the White House until the 18th, of October to turn over the requested documents.