UNITED STATES—The White House’s lawyer, John Eisenberg, 52, skipped out on the subpoena ordering him to be present for a disposition scheduled for Monday, November 4 regarding President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry.
President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in July 2019 is the main issue being examined as part of the impeachment inquiry. Trump is accused of pressuring Zelenskiy into opening a corruption investigation into 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden in exchange for military aid.
Eisenberg was subpoenaed for the impeachment deposition scheduled for Monday behind closed doors, but failed to appear. He is being asked to testify after he listened to the July phone call and decided to move the transcript of the call to a highly restrictive server, the NICE system. Doing so has sparked suspicion that possible incriminating evidence is being hidden, as the NICE system is used for storing the most top secret information.
“Under these circumstances, Mr. Eisenberg has no other option that is consistent with his legal and ethical obligations except to follow the direction of his client and employer, the President of the United States. Accordingly, Mr. Eisenberg will not be appearing for a deposition at this time,” said Eisenberg’s lawyer, William Burck of Quinn Emanuel in a letter to the impeachment inquiry.
Eisenberg has served as deputy White House counsel for national security issues since Donald Trump was elected into office in 2016. He previously worked with President George W. Bush’s U.S. Justice Department and in the Washington D.C. office of the law firm, Kirkland & Ellis.
The House of Representatives inquiry wishes to speak to a number of high ranking officials before moving into the next phase of the probe, which will be conducted via public hearings and releasing transcripts from any significant closed-door depositions. Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine testified on October 11, as well as Michael McKinley, the former adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on October 16.