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Pentagon told impeachment inquiry witness not to testify

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Defense Department official who testified in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump did so in defiance of the Pentagon, which told her not to cooperate.

A letter to Laura Cooper’s attorney obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday cites an administration-wide policy against participating in the impeachment probe.

The letter cites concerns about whether the House is authorized to conduct an impeachment inquiry without a formal vote and about what it says is a “blanket prohibition” against Defense Department lawyers being present for the interviews.

Several witnesses, including Cooper, have appeared for closed-door interviews after receiving subpoenas from the House.

Cooper had to wait hours for her interview to begin on Wednesday after Republicans stormed the secure room being used for depositions, bringing the proceedings to a halt.

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