Democrats Line Up Next Round of Impeachment Depositions

(CN) — House impeachment investigators plan to depose two more White House officials early next week as part of the probe into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, but it is unclear if they will show up.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Thursday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The impeachment inquiry is centered on a July 25 call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his potential Democratic opponent in the 2020 election, along with Biden’s son Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian energy company.

On Tuesday, House Democrats leading the inquiry reportedly plan to interrogate Wells Griffith, a senior director for international energy and environment at the National Security Council, and Michael Duffey, the associate director for national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget.

But it remains to be seen whether Griffith or Duffey will actually show up to the closed-door hearings. In a letter sent to congressional Democrats last month, Trump’s lawyers said that the president and his administration will not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry.

Duffey’s superior, Russ Vought, echoed this sentiment in an Oct. 21 tweet, stating that neither he nor Duffey would be cooperating in the investigation.

“I saw some Fake News over the weekend to correct,” Vought wrote. “As the WH letter made clear two weeks ago, OMB officials – myself and Mike Duffey – will not be complying with deposition requests this week. #shamprocess.”

Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported the White House gave Duffey authority to delay a military aid package to Ukraine, despite concerns from career staffers that such a move might not be legal.

That Ukrainian aid package has come to the forefront of the impeachment inquiry, as a top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine testified behind closed doors last week that the White House conditioned the aid on Ukraine publicly announcing investigations into Biden family as well as the 2016 U.S. election.

Before assuming his current position, Duffey was a deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Defense. He also previously surged as the executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Griffith leads the Trump administration’s international energy and climate strategy and has voiced support in the past for the U.S. withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement. Prior to working in the White House, spent time in the Energy Department. Before that, worked at his grandfather’s gas station in Mobile, Alabama.

It is believed Griffith may have knowledge of Trump’s dealings with Ukraine via Fiona Hill, a former White House adviser on Russia.

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