A Key Impeachment Witness Is a No-Show

Charles Kupperman's refusal to testify is sign of Trump obstruction, says Adam Schiff
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2019 11:39 AM CDT
A Key Impeachment Witness Is a No-Show
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks with the media after former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman said he would not appear to testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The name Charles Kupperman was a big one on Capitol Hill Monday morning, more so for what he didn't do than what he did. Kupperman failed to show up for his deposition in the Trump impeachment investigation, and now he's flirting with being held in contempt of Congress, reports the Hill. Kupperman is no longer in government, but he recently served as deputy to former national security adviser John Bolton. More significantly, he listened in on President Trump's July phone call with Ukraine's leader, the call now at the heart of the impeachment issue, notes the Wall Street Journal. Kupperman would have been the first person to testify with direct knowledge of that phone call. He "had testimony we believe would corroborate the allegations of misconduct that other witnesses have made,” said Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff.

What's more, Schiff says Kupperman's failure to appear helps make "a very powerful case against the president for obstruction, an article of impeachment based on obstruction," reports Politico. The White House instructed Kupperman not to testify, and Kupperman filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to rule on whether he must obey the House subpoena or abide by the White House's wishes. The judge has not ruled yet, and the case could set a precedent for future witnesses. Schiff stopped short of saying Kupperman would be held in contempt, but he said Democrats were considering the move. GOP Rep. Mark Meadows, meanwhile, slammed the impeachment process. “Every single witness who talked to the president, each and every time they’ve said he did nothing wrong, he’s innocent of any charges," said Meadows. (Read more Trump impeachment stories.)

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