More witnesses expected to skip impeachment depositions Tuesday

Democrats also plan to release transcripts of depositions by previous witnesses: former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland.

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By Geoff Bennett and Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — Two more witnesses in the House impeachment inquiry were expected to be no-shows on Tuesday, a day after four officials skipped their scheduled depositions.

Wells Griffith, special assistant to the president and senior director for international energy and environment at the National Security Council, failed to show up for his deposition before three congressional committees on Tuesday morning.

Michael Duffey, associate director for national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget, was also expected not to appear for his scheduled depositions before the same three panels early in the afternoon. Democrats issued a subpoena for his testimony on Oct. 25.

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Griffith is among a number of officials from the NSC whose testimony has been sought by lawmakers leading the impeachment investigation. Some officials, like Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, have appeared.

According to Griffith’s LinkedIn profile, he has worked at the NSC since April 2018 and previously served as principal deputy assistant secretary and senior White House adviser at the Department of Energy since President Donald Trump took office in 2017. He had also worked as the battleground states director for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

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Duffey oversees the process for approving and releasing U.S. assistance to foreign countries, making him a key witness in the Ukraine case, as Trump allegedly held up aid to Ukraine amid an effort to pressure its government to investigate the Bidens. Duffey hasn’t been expected to show up for his deposition ever since Russ Vought, the acting director of OMB, said that the office wouldn’t cooperate with the probe.

Their failure to appear Tuesday comes a day after four witnesses skipped their scheduled depositions on Monday, including John Eisenberg, deputy counsel to the president for national security affairs and legal adviser to the National Security Council; Robert Blair, assistant to the president and senior adviser to the acting chief of staff; Michael Ellis, senior associate counsel to the president and deputy legal adviser to the National Security Council; and Brian McCormack, associate director for natural resources, energy and science at the Office of Management and Budget.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., plans to release transcripts of the depositions with former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland on Tuesday.

On Monday, Democrats released the transcripts of the depositions of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and former Ambassador Michael McKinley, who served as a senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.