President orders officials not to testify; pushes for release of whistleblower’s identity

Washington-DC

Following last week’s official vote to launch open hearings, the impeachment probe continues this week behind closed doors.

However, the President continues to defy the inquiry, ordering officials not to testify and strongly pushing for the release of the anonymous whistleblower’s identity.

ABC’s Serena Marshall reports.

A new offer to answer congressional Republican’s questions under oath by the whistleblower rejected, even though the whistleblower’s lawyer said their answers would be in writing, under oath, and penalty of perjury, telling ABC News “Now we have offered directly to the GOP. They have no excuses.”

This morning, President Trump responding, tweeting “The whistleblower gave false information and he must be brought forward to testify. Written answers not acceptable,” even though the President himself fought for months to provide his own written answers instead of an in-person interview to Robert Muller.

Over the past month, multiple witnesses have testified under oath to congress, corroborating the whistleblower’s account of the President’s phone call with Ukraine’s leader. This includes members of the President’s own National Security Council, like Colonel Alexander Vindman, who testified he was so concerned about what he saw as inappropriate pressure. Vindman twice warned his superiors.

“My phone call was perfecto. It was totally appropriate,” said President Trump.

As he maintains there is nothing wrong with the call, the four current White House officials scheduled for depositions today, skipping them, at the direction of the White House.

Two of those officials were subpoenaed in advance of today, but now, all four have been subpoenaed, allowing House Democrats to argue they are obstructing their congressional oversight by not testifying.

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