Mulvaney's lawyers said the acting chief of staff was facing the same dilemma.
Democrats in the House's intelligence committee have summoned Mulvaney to appear earlier this week and have threatened to despise him if he refused to comply. In response, White House lawyer Pat Cipollone ordered him not to testify, saying that Mulvaney, who had ignored his scheduled testimony on Friday morning, was protected by "constitutional immunity" that he Extended to all former and former Trump advisers.
The issues raised in the case "go to the heart of our representative government and its promise to guarantee individual freedom by dividing the impressive power of the government," wrote Mulvaney's lawyers Christopher Muha and William Pittard.
"Mr. Mulvaney, like Mr. Kupperman, is caught in this division, trapped between the commands of two of his co-equal branches – with one of these branches threatening him with contempt," they said. writes, "He turns to this court for help."
Mulvaney's request, if accepted, would add weight to legal action that could have a profound impact on the House's investigation into the President's efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate its claims. political rivals.
Democrats are eager to hear Mulvaney, who has become a central player in consecutive decisions involving Ukraine. Mulvaney admitted at a press conference last month that the administration had suspended military aid to Ukraine to get the country's leaders to launch investigations that would help Trump politically. He later tried to retract his remarks, but the Democrats considered them to be essential evidence in their impeachment case.
House investigators also felt that Kupperman, the assistant to former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, was an important witness. He and Bolton had access to private proceedings at the White House on the president's communications regarding Ukraine.
But on Wednesday, counsel for the House said they had withdrawn Kupperman's summons to avoid a delay in the impeachment process. They asked a federal judge to dismiss the case, saying that they would instead seek guidance on the outcome of a similar dispute involving a subpoena to the former solicitor from the White House, Donald McGahn.
In response to the dismissal request, a lawyer representing Kupperman and Bolton, Charles Cooper, wrote in a letter to the lawyers of the House that no men would participate in the investigation as long as a judge would not have decided if they are legally entitled to testify. "It is important for both Dr. Kupperman and Ambassador Bolton that the judiciary definitively determines its constitutional duty to meet the contradictory demands of the legislative and executive branches," writes Cooper in the letter, which was filed in court. Friday.
Like Kupperman, Mulvaney received a written directive from Cipollone stating that the president was ordering him not to appear for his testimony in the House. Cipollone wrote that the office of the legal adviser of the Department of Justice had determined that the president and his immediate advisers were "absolutely safe" from the forced testimony of Congress – position taken by the ministry in previous administrations.
Mulvaney's lawyers said that he should be included in Kupperman's lawsuit not only because the two men faced almost identical competing demands, but because Mulvaney was still a member of the administration, unlike to Kupperman, and therefore still subordinate to Trump.
"Mr. Mulvaney is both an adviser to the closest and more experienced president than Mr. Kupperman was," says the document. "In summary, there are reasons specific to Mr. Mulvaney's position. that could serve as the basis for a judicial decision against threats of threats by the accused in the Chamber, reasons that Mr. Kupperman can not necessarily advance. "
The trial involves Trump and several senior House officials, including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), Who is leading the investigation.
A spokesman for the Intelligence Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.