The March to Impeachment

I’ve uploaded both the opinion of Judge Beryl H. Howell of the U.S.D.C. for the District of Columbia upholding the right of the House of Representatives’ to obtain grand jury material from the Mueller investigation and the complaint filed by Charles Kupperman who has been subpoenaed to testify before the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry.

Judge Howell’s long, detailed, and scholarly opinion makes mincemeat of the Trump Administration’s attempt to throw sand into the gears of the impeachment inquiry. The opinion is here.

The Kupperman complaint is in the nature of an interpleader action. (Note: Kupperman’s complain is not a “true” interpleader action which is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1335 that deals with conflicting claims to money or property held by the plaintiff. Rather, Kupperman is seeking what amounts to a declaratory judgment pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201.)

Kupperman was the former Deputy National Security Advisor and Acting National Security Advisor for Trump. He is requesting that the court tell him which directive he should honor: Trump’s executive branch order that he not appear or the House’s legislative branch subpoena. A copy of the complaint is here.

The Kupperman case has not been assigned to a particular judge. If the judge to whom it is ultimately assigned follows Judge Howell’s holding, Kupperman will then be informed that the Congressional subpoena trumps Trump’s order and the House subpoena to Kupperman will be deemed to be enforceable. I don’t know what would happen next, because it is unclear to me whether Trump could even appeal such a ruling if, once the court rules, Kupperman says that he’s satisfied with the ruling, dismisses his case, and then proceeds to testify before the House.

5 thoughts on “The March to Impeachment”

        1. It appears that Rule 15 may be (at best) ambiguous as regards the specific question here.

          “Counsel for OTHER persons…” (emphasis mine) might not preclude attendance of counsel for the individual testifying. That rule is most likely aimed at preventing an inquiry hearing from devolving into a contest between the Committee and the “interested third party” counsel, in particular the third party who is under investigation.

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