The Trump Impeachment Inquiry: Latest Updates

Mr. Parnas had been scheduled to appear for a deposition on Thursday and Mr. Fruman on Friday, but even before their arrests, a lawyer for both men had indicated they would not comply voluntarily. The subpoena, which instructs them to now appear next Wednesday, makes no mention of the federal indictment, which may complicate their ability or willingness to cooperate with the House’s investigation.

Facing criminal charges for work that appears to have at least some connection to the subject of the impeachment inquiry, they may choose to assert Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

In a letter to John Dowd, the lawyer representing both men, three House committee chairmen wrote that Mr. Parnas and Mr. Furman were “required by law to comply with the enclosed subpoenas.”

“Your clients are private citizens who are not employees of the Executive Branch. They may not evade requests from Congress for documents and information necessary to conduct our inquiry. They are required by law to comply with the enclosed subpoenas. They are not exempted from this requirement merely because they happen to work with Mr. Giuliani, and they may not defy congressional subpoenas merely because President Trump has chosen the path of denial, defiance, and obstruction.”

[Read the letter from committee chairmen.]

The letter was written by Representatives Adam B. Schiff of California, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Eliot L. Engel of New York, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

On Thursday morning, Representative John Shimkus, a veteran Illinois Republican who has announced he will not seek re-election, took to St. Louis talk radio to say, “pull my name off the ‘I support Donald Trump’ list.” (Five minutes and 18 seconds in.)

It was not because of the latest twist in the Ukraine scandal. He pointedly did not break from the president on impeachment. It was because of what he saw as Mr. Trump’s abandonment of America’s ally, Syria’s Kurds, who are now under Turkish onslaught. “I’m heartbroken,” he told KMOX.

Why is that important? Republican anger over Syria may not translate directly into support for impeachment, but if more Republicans — especially among the 19 who have thus far announced their retirement — take their names off the “I support Donald Trump” list, they may not be available to man the barricades when the Democrats come to impeach.



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