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National Security Council official defies request to testify Tuesday in impeachment probe

Wells Griffith, a White House adviser on energy, is one of several witnesses called on to testify before House impeachment investigators this week who did not show up Tuesday for a deposition.

He was scheduled to be deposed Tuesday, but he will not comply with impeachment investigators’ request, a source involved in the deliberations told CNN. All four witnesses supposed to testify Monday did not show, and several others scheduled for this week have indicated they are not coming.

Griffith is a special assistant to the President and senior director for international energy and environment for the National Security Council. He joined the Trump administration in 2017 as a senior White House adviser for the Department of Energy and then became principal deputy assistant secretary in the department’s Office of International Affairs.

At the UN COP24 climate change conference in Poland in 2018, he was mocked by protesters while promoting fossil fuels and coal.

He was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, and attended St. Ignatius Catholic School. He graduated high school from St. Paul’s Episcopal. He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 2004 with a bachelor of arts degree in history and a minor in modern languages (Spanish), according to his Linkedin profile.

Griffith then attended Mississippi College of Law and was president of the Student Bar Association. He was also the national vice chair of the American Bar Association’s Law Student Division.

He has a background in campaign politics

After law school, he worked on several political campaigns, including Mississippi GOP Sen. Roger Wicker’s 2008 campaign. He also managed Mississippi Republican Rep. Steven Palazzo’s 2010 campaign.

He became executive director of the Mississippi Republican Party in 2009. He was a senior aide to then-Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and in 2013 he became deputy chief of staff of the RNC. He was deputy political director for then-Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s 2016 presidential campaign. He was also battleground states director for then-2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign.

He ran a 2-month campaign for a seat in Congress

Griffith announced in July 2013 that he was running as a Republican candidate in a special election for the 1st Congressional District seat in south Alabama. He kicked off his campaign at his family gas station, Griffith Service Station, in Mobile. He pledged to repeal Obamacare and to protect “Christian and conservative values” if elected, according to an archive of his campaign website. His campaign was backed by then-Rep. Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who later served as House speaker.

“I’ve never run for office. And I don’t want to make a career out of being a politician,” Griffith said in a campaign video. “But I truly believe that if we don’t drastically cut spending and the spread of government, our country will be lost forever.”

He was defeated in the Republican primary in September 2013.

This story has been updated with additional developments Tuesday.