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Trump orders two ex-White House aides not to testify at House hearing

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U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered two former White House aides not to testify at a House of Representatives committee hearing on Tuesday as the panel considers whether to recommend impeaching Trump.

Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn and former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter were subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee to appear at the hearing on possible obstruction of justice by Trump.

"The President has directed Mr Dearborn and Mr Porter not to appear at the hearing," White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said in a letter to the committee's chairman, Democrat Jerrold Nadler.

Cipollone said the Justice Department had determined that Dearborn and Porter "are absolutely immune from compelled congressional testimony with respect to matters related to their service as senior advisers to the President."

Cipollone said former Trump campaign aide Corey Lewandowski, who was also subpoenaed to appear at Tuesday's hearing, could testify but not about conversations with Trump after he became president or with his senior advisers.

Nadler denounced the White House move as a "shocking and dangerous assertion of executive privilege and absolute immunity."

"If he were to prevail in this cover-up while the Judiciary Committee is considering whether to recommend articles of impeachment, he would upend the separation of powers as envisioned by our founders," Nadler said in a statement, referring to Trump.

Democrats want to question the three men about an episode described by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller in which Trump allegedly tried to pressure then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to redirect the Russia probe away from his 2016 presidential campaign.

The episode is among a number of incidents contained in Mueller's 448-page report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election campaign that Democrats view as evidence Trump obstructed justice.

Last week, the Democratic-led House panel adopted a resolution allowing it to designate hearings as impeachment proceedings, subject witnesses to more aggressive questioning and quicken the pace of its investigation of Trump.

Democrats aim to decide by the end of the year whether to recommend articles of impeachment against Trump to the full House. If approved by the chamber, the Republican-controlled Senate would be left to hold a trial and consider the president's ouster.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

14 Comments

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are absolutely immune from compelled congressional testimony

Thats a thing? Absolute immunity?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

These swamp creatures are absolutely lawless. First they refuse to turn over whistle blower info to the House. Now they continue to stop former employees from complying with lawful subpoenas. Sooner or later all of these creatures will face justice.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Porter and Dearborn are both deep swampers. I'm not sure where they're working now, but given other former Trump admin. swampmen like Mattis and Kelly remain in the deep swamp, I imagine both Porter and Dearborn are also mired not too far away.

Wasn't another one of Trump's promises that he'd drain the swamp? Or given the problems Trump has with his dentures, maybe all along he was saying 'maintain the swamp'. And if that's the case, he's definitely kept that promise. On a campaign promise note, is Mexico paying for Trump's sea to shining sea wall?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Porter and Dearborn are both deep swampers. I'm not sure where they're working now, but given other former Trump admin. swampmen like Mattis and Kelly remain in the deep swamp, I imagine both Porter and Dearborn are also mired not too far away.

Do you have the same thing within the last administration and the previous one before that, that’s just a typical day in politics and of course the party in power is not happy with how that looks, but we felt the exact same way with Eric holder and with Valerie Jarrett, it just didn’t get sloppier than that.

Wasn't another one of Trump's promises that he'd drain the swamp? Or given the problems Trump has with his dentures, maybe all along he was saying 'maintain the swamp'.

Trump doesn’t wear dentures, Biden now you saw the other day as he was trying to get them back in order when he was speaking, he definitely does and I don’t know why with all the money he has why he hasn’t gotten implants, but that’s a side issue...On the other hand it’s a little difficult of trying to drain the swamp when you have so many leftovers from the last administration sitting around in the justice department can’t fire them all.

And if that's the case, he's definitely kept that promise. On a campaign promise note, is Mexico paying for Trump's sea to shining sea wall?

But the main thing is that it is getting built right now and it’s getting harder and harder for the lower courts to oppose him thanks to McConnell. It’ll take time before he gets all these holdovers you know out until then I guess we’re going to see more of this conundrum.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

And the Trumpets will support an opaque Trump leadership, all while freaking out for eight years about Obama, who was about as transparent a president as there has ever been.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

It’ll take time before he gets all these holdovers you know out

How’s that coming along? Maybe 50% done? And if a Dem wins next he will need 3 years to get Trump’s Deep State out? I’m curious as to how this whole system works.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The way trump uses (abuses) the idea of executive privilege it seems that a US president can clearly be above the law.

How can Republicans condone trump's behavior?

There is some comfort in knowing that inevitably everything will come out. Even Lindsey.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Do you have the same thing within the last administration

But but Donny was supposed to drain the swamp, not dig it deeper.

Trump doesn’t wear dentures,

Implants? Wonder why he pronounced Pence as Pounsh the other day.

'The mob takes the fifth' Donny said.

Yet either his aides have either taken the fifth or he has prevented them from testifying .

Even Donny took the fifth in his divorce trial with Ivana.

Oh boy the swamp got swampier!!!!!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Nixon 2.0....

Obstruct, cover-up, lie (especially lie) - just normal day-to-day ops in this administration.

It's nothing but an elected organized crime family - elected with help from the state-sponsored organized crime family in Russia...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

So how does Trump order ex employees who no longer work for them. What's he going do about it? The NY case over the Stormy want his tax returns.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This sound like things going on with poor minded people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The ridiculous orange man bad vendetta continues. By the way, what happened to the whole fake Russia collusion hoax? Has anyone noticed that has faded away on CNN et all after it imploded, after cackled about it non-stop for 2 years?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

The ridiculous orange man bad vendetta continues. By the way, what happened to the whole fake Russia collusion hoax? 

You mean that thing where pretty much his whole team is in jail for colluding with Russia?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

They're in fake jail where you put people accused of hoaxes.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

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