Mulvaney’s lawyer, William Pittard, said late Monday that his client planned to file his own lawsuit challenging the committee’s subpoena. But by Tuesday morning, Pittard indicated Mulvaney had changed his mind.
“After further consideration, Mr. Mulvaney does not intend to pursue litigation regarding the deposition subpoena issued to him by the U.S. House of Representatives,” Pittard wrote in a brief filing Tuesday morning. “Rather, he will rely on the direction of the president … in not appearing for the relevant deposition.”
Mulvaney’s refusal to testify likely caps Democrats’ efforts to secure high-level testimony from close Trump aides. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats have said they have no interest in engaging in potentially lengthy court battles to enforce subpoenas, which they view as delay tactics by the Trump administration. Democrats are aiming to wrap up the impeachment process by the end of the year.
Several witnesses who have already testified before impeachment investigators have implicated Mulvaney as part of an alleged scheme to withhold military aid to Ukraine and refuse a White House meeting to its president unless the country announced investigations into Trump’s political rivals.
“[E]vidence gathered in the House’s impeachment inquiry suggests that Mulvaney was a central player and enabler of the President’s alleged misconduct,” House General Counsel Douglas Letter wrote in a brief filed Monday as part of the Kupperman matter.
The impeachment inquiry centers on Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and a separate, debunked conspiracy theory surrounding Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Though Democrats have procured substantial evidence to support their allegations, Mulvaney and a cadre of top advisers, including several senior White House budget officials, have stonewalled impeachment investigators seeking details about the abrupt decision by Trump to withhold nearly $400 million in military aid marked for Ukraine.