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Former White House adviser asks judge to rule on whether he is compelled to testify to house

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Posted at 9:28 PM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-25 23:28:42-04

A key witness in the impeachment inquiry has sought for a court to decide if he should testify, caught between a House subpoena and a demand from White House to protect President Donald Trump's immunity from testifying to Congress.

Charles Kupperman, who served until last month as deputy national security adviser at the White House, filed a lawsuit Friday asking a federal judge to rule on whether he is obliged to testify before House investigators. The case presents a new challenge to House Democrats seeking cooperation from close aides of Trump.

Kupperman, who worked closely with former national security adviser John Bolton, is scheduled to sit Monday for questioning by the three House committees handling impeachment.

"Plaintiff is faced with irreconcilable commands by the Legislative and Executive Branches of the Government and, accordingly, seeks a declaratory judgment from this Court as to whether he is lawfully obliged to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Defendants demanding his testimony '[p]ursuant to the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry,' or he is lawfully obliged to abide by the assertion of immunity from congressional process made by the President in connection with the testimony sought from Plaintiff," the lawsuit states.

The New York Times was first to report the lawsuit.

Kupperman was on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.