The House Democrats leading the impeachment probe into President Trump issued subpoenas Thursday to two associates of Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, after the men were arrested earlier in the day on campaign-finance charges.
The chairmen of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight and Reform Committees subpoenaed Florida businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who are from the former Soviet Union, for documents and information they may have relevant to the impeachment inquiry. Giuliani previously said he had worked with the two in his push for Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
“Your clients are private citizens who are not employees of the Executive Branch,” the chairmen wrote to attorney John Dowd, who previously served as Trump’s personal attorney and now represents Parnas and Fruman. “They may not evade requests from Congress for documents and information necessary to conduct our inquiry. They are required by law to comply with the enclosed subpoenas.”
The chairmen also took a shot at Trump, saying that others will not be allowed to follow his example of obstructing Congress.
“[Parnas and Fruman] are not exempted from this requirement merely because they happen to work with Mr. Giuliani, and they may not defy congressional subpoenas merely because President Trump has chosen the path of denial, defiance, and obstruction,” they wrote, adding that the deadline for the men to turn over the requested information was October 16.
The House subpoenas come after a week in which the White House has signaled that it has no intention of cooperating with the probe.
“Because participating in this inquiry under the current unconstitutional posture would inflict lasting institutional harm on the Executive Branch and lasting damage to the separation of powers, you have left the President no choice,” White House lawyer Pat Cipollone wrote in a letter to House Democrats on Tuesday.