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Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump and members of his administration have been telling employees of the federal government to defy subpoenas coming from House Democrats in connection with their impeachment inquiry, which is probing Trump’s July 25 phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. And according to one of the Democratic leaders of the inquiry, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, those employees include people in the U.S. Defense Department.

Schiff, according to Defense News, said that Defense Secretary Mark Esper had agreed to comply with a subpoena but was “countermanded.” And Schiff said of Esper being pressured to defy a subpoena, “the case for obstruction of Congress continues to build.”

Despite the Trump Administration urging federal government employees to defy subpoenas from the House, some of the people subpoenaed have testified before the House anyway — including Fiona Hill (formerly Trump’s top adviser on Russia-related matters) and Marie Yovanovitch (former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine).

Trump has been asserting that until a formal vote on impeachment is held in the House, the inquiry is “illegitimate.” But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on Tuesday, told reporters, “we’re not here to call bluffs. Is not a game to us.”

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