The Washington Post reported Sunday that the White House is rushing to try and figure out how they can block administration staff from testifying to Congress about Ukraine-gate.
Russell Vought, Mick Mulvaney's protege, is currently running the Office of Management and Budget as Mulvaney is serving as the acting chief of staff. He, along with two of his staffers, are defying Congressional subpoenas to answer questions about the money that was withheld from Ukraine until they agreed to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden publicly.
"Congressional Republicans are also predicting that Mulvaney's deputy, Robert Blair, will refuse to show for his scheduled Monday appearance before impeachment investigators — though a White House spokesman and Blair's attorney, Whit Ellerman, did not respond to questions about his plans," The Post wrote. Blair was on the July 25 phone call when Trump asked Ukraine's president for a 'favor' investigating former vice president Joe Biden, a 2020 presidential contender."
Trump has "grown enraged" as he watches who he deems "his employees" testifying against him, a person who regularly speaks with the president reported to The Post. While the president typically avoids his national security briefings, he's demanding copies of witness statements so he can work out the best way to attack them. He's complaining to his lawyers that they're not doing enough to obstruct justice by stopping people from testifying. He's even telling allies in Congress to attack his own White House staff if they agree to appear.
"Trump has at times questioned the loyalty of Mulvaney's aides, but OMB officials have assured the president they will not show up and help the Democrats' probe, two officials said, pleasing the president," said The Post.
Vought, like Trump, is a conservative ideologue who has no intention of putting the law before the word of Trump. The report described him as an ally who believes any impeachment inquiry is a "sham process," regardless of the rules followed by lawmakers.
"Vought was immediately told of the president's decision to scuttle the aid and agreed with some other top advisers that it was legal, two administration officials said. Michael Duffey, one of Vought's subordinates who has also been called to testify on Tuesday and who controls foreign aid decisions in the OMB, signed the OMB document freezing the Ukraine aid, according to the administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Duffey is OMB’s associate director for national security programs," The Post report continued.
Still, however, Vought and his aides have no intention of recognizing Congressional authority to demand documents or testimony. Others outside of his circle may be willing to step forward, but it's still unclear.