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Legal experts warn Trump’s refusal to cooperate with impeachment inquiry may subject federal workers to criminal exposure

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The Trump Administration’s refusal to cooperate with an impeachment inquiry by the U.S. House of Representatives was evident on Tuesday when White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent an angry letter to House Democrats declaring, “President Trump and his administration reject your baseless, unconstitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process.” Legal experts have been discussing the type of legal exposure that the Trump Administration is subjecting federal employees to, and writer Eric Katz discusses that exposure in an October 8 article for the Government Executive website.

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On Tuesday, Katz notes, the Trump State Department refused to make Gordon Sondland (U.S. ambassador to the European Union) available for a scheduled deposition pertaining to Trump’s interactions with the Ukrainian government. And House Democrats have responded to the Trump Administration by saying that they will subpoena Sondland.

“If the (Trump) Administration continues to block (Sondland) and other employees from complying with Congress,” Katz explains, “it could put individuals in a precarious legal position.”

Katz notes that according to legal experts that Government Executive has spoken to, “employees subject to conflicting demands have two options” — and the first one “is to violate orders from management and give Congress what it wants, assuming protections under whistleblower law.” The “second possibility,” Katz writes, “is to exercise federal employees’ statutory ‘right to disobey’ orders that violate laws, rules or regulations.”

Dan Meyer, a partner in the law firm Tully Rinckey, told Government Executive, “The best way to advance your career in the short term is to obey management. That’s the sad part about it.”

Government Executive also spoke to Debra D’Agostino, founding partner at the Federal Practice Group — and according to D’Agostino, the “general rule” for federal workers who are asked to do something they find questionable is to obey orders and complain through legal channels later. But D’Agostino warned that federal employees could face obstruction of justice charges if they aren’t careful.

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“The defense, ‘I was just doing what I was told,’ only goes so far,” D’Agostino told Government Executive. “In most cases where you should know better, you should know better — and you’re going to be held responsible.”

According to Meyer, “You want that grievance in place. You want that paperwork to say, ‘I did what I was told, but I reported it.’”

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Supreme Court timeline on Trump’s taxes gives time for Manhattan prosecutors to file charges: Former US Attorney

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Former U.S. Attorney Mimi Rocah tweeted a recent report that the U.S. Supreme Court would be taking up President Donald Trump's case to keep his taxes away from investigators.

That case between Trump and Congress invokes a 1924 law that says the Ways and Means Committee has the authority to seek tax returns. Rocah mocked the president for being "so shady, so corrupt, so unlawful, that you’re willing to fight the release of your tax returns all the way to the Supreme Court."

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Trump has spent 50 years trying to live up to his father — now his presidency will forever be stained: MSNBC panelist

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Rev. Al Sharpton said during his MSNBC show Sunday that the legacy of impeachment will forever be a stain on President Donald Trump's presidency. While a Democratic strategist pointed to Trump's history of always falling short.

"The fact is I've known Donald Trump for 35 years," Sharpton said during a panel discussion. "Marched on him after the Central Park Five. Had other times he would try to be a Democrat, would come to our National Action Network conventions. One of the things that is core to him is that he's always fought for legitimacy. He was never looked at as a peer by the legitimate business community in New York and around the country. Now for him to be impeached, even if he's not convicted and removed, it gives him the imprimatur from here out that he's illegitimate. There will always be the asterisk on his name that schoolchildren will read. Is this the reason we're seeing 170-some-odd tweets from Mr. Trump that he is feeling at the core that his legitimacy as a president will be permanently stained?"

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Conservative pens scathing op-ed with sarcastic defense of Republicans’ humiliating hypocrisy

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Conservative columnist Max Boot wasn't shocked when he saw Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) proclaim he had no intention of being an independent juror during President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. The Trump antagonist penned his Sunday column dripping with sarcasm.

His fellow conservative colleague, Jennifer Rubin, similarly said that no one expected anything better from Graham. Boot extended his disdain to the entire Republican Party.

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