another day another subpoena
October 8, 2019

After the State Department blocked U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland from testifying before Congress on Tuesday, House Democrats responded with a subpoena, demanding Sondland hand over emails and text messages from his personal devices by Oct. 14 and appear for a deposition on Oct. 16.

As part of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, Sondland was scheduled to discuss Trump's dealings with Ukraine during closed door sessions with the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight committees Tuesday morning. When the State Department directed him not to testify, he was "required to follow their direction," Sondland's attorney Robert Luskin said. Sondland, he added, was "profoundly disappointed" that he was unable to give a deposition.

"The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents, we consider yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress," House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told reporters. Read more about the inquiry and what Democrats want to ask Sondland about at CNN. Catherine Garcia

September 30, 2019

Be careful about what you say on television, kids.

President Trump's personal lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was issued a subpoena by Congress on Monday in relation to the House's impeachment inquiry of President Trump over his communications with Ukraine's government. House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), and House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), sent a joint letter compelling Giuliani to produce key documents that could aid the inquiry by Oct. 15.

Giuliani reportedly landed himself in such a position, in part, because he said on CNN that he asked Ukraine's government government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden over his activities in Ukraine. The committee chairs also wrote that Giuliani has stated he possesses evidence indicating he did not act alone in his dealings with Ukraine, and that there is a "growing public record" of information indicating he pressed Kyiv to investigate Ukrainians who provided evidence against Trump's convicted campaign chair, Paul Manafort.

Giuliani was reportedly expecting to be subpoenaed and has said he would cooperate if Trump asked him to. Read more at The Washington Post. Tim O'Donnell

August 1, 2019

The Manhattan district attorney's office has subpoenaed the Trump Organization, requesting documents related to hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels, several people briefed on the matter told The New York Times Thursday.

Daniels said she had an affair with Trump in 2006, and shortly before the 2016 presidential election, his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, arranged a $130,000 payment to Daniels in exchange for her silence. The Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen, and the Times reports prosecutors are looking into whether any senior executives filed false business records, claiming the reimbursement was a legal expense. Trump Organization attorney Marc Mukasey told the Times this is a "political hit job."

Cohen, who pleaded guilty last year to campaign finance violations in connection with the hush money case and is now serving time in prison, also worked with the National Enquirer to arrange a payout for another woman who said she had an affair with Trump. Playboy model Karen McDougal was paid $150,000 for her story, which was never published. The Manhattan D.A.'s office also sent American Media Inc., the Enquirer's publisher, a subpoena on Thursday, the Times reports. The company's CEO, David Pecker, is one of Trump's longtime friends. Catherine Garcia

June 26, 2019

The House Oversight Committee has voted to subpoena White House counselor Kellyanne Conway for testimony over her alleged Hatch Act violations after she refused to provide it on Wednesday.

In a 25-16 vote, the panel voted to subpoena Conway, CNN reports, as Democrats had threatened to do should Conway skip its hearing. The House's hearing took place after the Office of Special Counsel recommended Conway be fired for "repeatedly" violating the Hatch Act, which limits the political speech White House officials can engage in as part of their official duties. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), who has advocated for the impeachment of President Trump, voted with Democrats to authorize the subpoena.

The White House had directed Conway not to testify before the House panel. "The precedent for members of the White House staff to decline invitations to testify before congressional committees has been consistently adhered to by administrations of both political parties," White House counsel Pat Cipollone said. As directed, Conway did not testify on Wednesday.

Conway has contended she never violated the Hatch Act and in a Monday interview said that "they want to silence me." Henry Kerner, head of the Office of Special Counsel, testified on Wednesday and said in an opening statement that Conway's alleged Hatch Act violations were "unacceptable from any federal employee, let alone one in such a prominent position" and that her conduct "reflects not a misunderstanding of the law, but rather a disregard for it." Brendan Morrow

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