Congress

Trump and Democrats agree that one impeachment lawsuit should be dismissed

Both sides agree National Security Council official's lawsuit should get tossed

The Justice Department and the House Intelligence Committee told a federal judge that Kupperman’s lawsuit should now be tossed from court as moot (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration and House Democrats found something to agree on with when it comes to the impeachment inquiry — that former National Security Council official Charles Kupperman’s lawsuit should get tossed from federal court.

Kupperman filed the lawsuit last month asking the courts to decide whether he should comply with a House subpoena focused on President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, or if he should follow a White House directive not to testify.

But the committee told U.S. District Senior Judge Richard J. Leon that it withdrew that subpoena Nov. 6 and will not reissue it, in part because House Democrats do not want a lengthy court fight to slow their impeachment inquiry.

[House Intelligence withdraws subpoena for key Ukraine witness]

So in separate filings late Thursday, the Justice Department and the Intelligence Committee told Leon that Kupperman’s lawsuit should now be tossed from court as moot because he faces no consequences for not appearing for the deposition.

The Justice Department wrote in its motion to dismiss the case: “Dr. Kupperman’s request depends on a purported injury — his alleged uncertainty as to whether he is obligated to appear at a deposition as instructed in the House Committees’ subpoena — that no longer exists, assuming it ever did.”

And the House Intelligence Committee wrote in its motion to dismiss the case: “Kupperman has no injury, and because [the Intelligence Committee] will not reissue the subpoena, he can have no reasonable expectation of future injury.”

Leon had scheduled oral arguments for Dec. 10 and suggested he would rule on Kupperman’s lawsuit in late December or early January.

The fate of the lawsuit brought by Kupperman, former deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs, could also affect his former boss, John Bolton, the former national security adviser who has been invited to testify but not subpoenaed.

Bolton is represented by Charles Cooper, the same attorney as Kupperman, who suggested in court last week that Bolton might join the lawsuit if subpoenaed.

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