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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington upon his return from New York, U.S., November 3, 2019. Photo by Yuri Gripas/Reuters

White House lawyer expected to defy impeachment subpoena

WASHINGTON (AP) — The lead lawyer for the National Security Council is expected to defy a subpoena on Monday to appear before House impeachment investigators, as are three other White House witnesses, following President Donald Trump’s orders not to cooperate with the probe.

John Eisenberg is one of four White House witnesses scheduled for depositions on Monday. None of the four is expected to appear, for now, according to a person familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to discuss the confidential interviews. The other witnesses subpoenaed for testimony on Monday are White House aide Robert Blair, National Security Council aide Michael Ellis and Office of Management and Budget aide Brian McCormack.

Democrats want to talk to all four about the machinations inside the White House before and after Trump held a July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelenskiy and asked him to pursue investigations into political rival Joe Biden and his family and Ukraine’s involvement in the 2016 election. Eisenberg was instrumental in discussions about how to handle a White House memo recounting the Trump phone call with Ukraine that is central to the impeachment inquiry.

Blair is a top aide to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and McCormack is a former chief of staff to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who led a U.S. delegation to Ukraine for Zelenskiy’s inauguration in May. Ellis is Eisenberg’s deputy and a former Republican aide to the House intelligence panel.

Several more witnesses are scheduled this week, even though the House is on recess. Witnesses called include Perry and former national security adviser John Bolton, but it is unclear if any of them will show up.

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