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A lawyer representing the president’s former national security adviser filed a motion opposing an effort by Mick Mulvaney to join a suit on impeachment testimony.
WASHINGTON — A long-simmering feud within the White House broke into the open on Monday as a lawyer for John R. Bolton, President Trump’s former national security adviser, filed a motion trying to keep Mick Mulvaney, the president’s acting chief of staff, from joining a lawsuit over impeachment testimony.
Mr. Bolton’s lawyer argued in court papers that Mr. Mulvaney should not be allowed to jump into the existing lawsuit as a plaintiff because his interests are significantly different. But the legal schism underscored a broader rift between Mr. Mulvaney, who facilitated Mr. Trump’s effort to pressure Ukraine for damaging information about Democrats, and Mr. Bolton, who tried to resist it.
The lawsuit, filed by Charles M. Kupperman, a former deputy national security adviser and longtime associate of Mr. Bolton’s, asked a court to decide whether Mr. Kupperman should obey the president’s dictate or a House subpoena. While not technically a party to the lawsuit, Mr. Bolton, who left his post in September after clashing with Mr. Trump, is represented by the same lawyer, Charles J. Cooper, and is taking the same position as Mr. Kupperman in waiting for the court to decide whether he should testify or not.
Mr. Mulvaney’s effort to join the lawsuit late Friday night stunned many involved in the impeachment debate because he still works for the president. Rather than obey the president’s order not to cooperate with House investigators, as some other current administration officials have done, Mr. Mulvaney instead opted to ask a court to decide whether he should listen to his boss.
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