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Lawyer says Trump budget official will testify in impeachment inquiry if subpoenaed

A career attorney for the Office of Management and Budget plans to testify behind closed doors for the impeachment inquiry should he receive a subpoena, his attorney told CNN on Thursday.

Mark Sandy, who has worked for the Office of Management and Budget for both Republican and Democratic presidents, is scheduled for testimony on Saturday. He served as acting director at OMB in January and February 2017.

“If he is subpoenaed he will appear for the deposition,” said Barbara “Biz” Van Gelder, his attorney.

It would be the first time an official from the agency, which was responsible for releasing the security aid for Ukraine, would testify in the impeachment inquiry after multiple other officials ignored subpoenas. The security aid for Ukraine is at the center of the impeachment probe, as multiple officials have reported the aid was blocked to get Ukraine to take up investigations that would have benefited President Donald Trump’s domestic political agenda.

Van Gelder said Sandy has not received a subpoena yet. The practice so far during the impeachment inquiry has been that the House committees deliver the subpoena on the morning of the day of scheduled testimony.

The Washington Post first reported Sandy was expected to appear.

Sandy’s plans represent a shift from those of his colleagues. Russell Vought, acting OMB director, declined to appear when House Democrats subpoenaed testimony from him. Vought had ignored a request for a voluntary closed-door deposition as well.

Vought tweeted last month that he and OMB Associate Director of National Security Programs Michael Duffey would not participate in their scheduled depositions.

“As the (White House) letter made clear two weeks ago, OMB officials – myself and Mike Duffey – will not be complying with deposition requests this week,” Vought tweeted.

CNN has reported that Duffey, a political appointee, signed paperwork at OMB freezing US security assistance to Ukraine.

Two other OMB officials — Robert Blair, assistant to the President and senior adviser to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and Brian McCormack, associate director for natural resources, energy & science at the agency — opted not to show up at their depositions scheduled for last week.

According to the Ukraine whistleblower’s complaint, an unnamed OMB official said in July that “earlier that month,” the President had called to halt all US security aid to Ukraine.

In July, per the complaint, other unspecified OMB officials explicitly reiterated that the directive had come straight from the President but did not know the diplomatic strategy behind it.

CNN