US National Security Advisor John Bolton responses journalists inquiries after his interview with Belarus President in Minsk on August 29, 2019.
Sergei Gapon | AFP | Getty Images
President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor John Bolton was “personally involved in many of the events, meetings, and conversations” in the core of the House impeachment inquiry “as well as many relevant meetings and conversations that have not yet been discussed” publicly, his attorney revealed Friday.
Bolton’s lawyer, Charles Cooper, made the disclosure to the House’s general counsel in an attempt to explain why his client desires a court order to have the ability to testify in the impeachment question.
Cooper explained both Bolton and his deputy, Charles Kupperman, have advice concerning “national security and foreign affairs,” and Bolton has information that has not been touched publicly to date.
Bolton “was personally involved in many of the events, meetings, and conversations about which you have already received testimony, as well as many relevant meetings and conversations that have not yet been discussed in the testimonies thus far,” Cooper wrote.
The former national security advisor didn’t appear for a scheduled deposition on Thursday since he and his deputy are looking for a judge’s ruling on whether they are bound by the White House’s directive to not appear. The White House says the pair have “absolute testimonial immunity,” Cooper noted.
Kupperman filed suit days before he was scheduled to give closed-door testimony last month, asking a federal judge to find out whether he’s required to testify in the impeachment inquiry. The lawsuit stated Kupperman was in an untenable position because the House was directing to him look and White House attorneys were telling him not to do so.
The judge in the case scheduled a hearing for Dec. 10, which the House claimed was too long to wait. The committees withdrew their subpoena against Kupperman earlier this week, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told reporters they had been ready to move ahead without testimony from Bolton and Kupperman.
“We are not going to delay our work,” Schiff stated . “That would merely allow these witnesses and the White House to succeed with their goal, which is to delay, deny, obstruct.”
Schiff indicated the pair ought to be bound by whatever another judge determines on executive privilege claims involving former White House attorney Don McGahn. The House Judiciary Committee was trying to question McGahn about allegations from the Mueller report that Trump had led him to fire the special counsel.
In his letter, Cooper said Bolton and Kupperman’s cases are distinct from McGahn’s. The ex-White House attorney “was not performing sensitive national security or foreign affairs functions,” and the judge’s ruling in that case wouldn’t apply to his clients, the attorney wrote.
Cooper added, “We are dismayed that the Committees have chosen not to join us” in seeking a resolution from the courts. “Dr. Kupperman stands ready, as does Ambassador Bolton, to testify if the Judiciary resolves the conflict in favor of the Legislative Branch’s position respecting such authority,” he composed.
“If the House chooses not to pursue through subpoena the testimony of Dr. Kupperman and Ambassador Bolton, let the record be clear: that is the House’s decision,” he composed.