A US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee official stated that President Donald Trump's former National Security Adviser John Bolton has threatened to take the committee to court if it subpoenas him to testify in the impeachment probe.
"We would welcome John Bolton's deposition and he did not appear as he was requested today. His counsel has informed us that unlike three other dedicated public servants who worked for him on the NSC and have complied with lawful subpoenas, Mr Bolton would take us to court if we subpoenaed him", an official told Reuters.
In the meantime, The Washington Post reported, citing sources close to Bolton, that the former national security adviser would be ready to testify in the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry if a federal court supports Congress' subpoena power to enforce his testimony.
The reports said that Bolton does not want to comply with the Democratic-led probe without a court ruling in the dispute between the Trump administration and the US Congress over lawmakers' power to compel testimony.
House lawmakers reportedly sent letters summoning Bolton and National Security Council lawyer John Eisenberg, along with his deputy Michael Ellis, to appear before the committee. The letters "took the form of voluntary requests, rather than subpoenas", according to reports.
Bolton has been allegedly asked to attend a closed-door deposition on 7 November, while Eisenberg and Ellis were asked to testify on 4 November.
Impeachment Inquiry Against Trump
In October, former Trump adviser on Russia Fiona Hill reportedly told the House of Representatives committees during a closed-door testimony that Bolton was troubled by a meeting held on 10 July with other US administration officials, including US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, where they raised the issue of investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
According to Hill, she and Bolton left the meeting over concerns about what might transpire, and Bolton advised her to discuss the matter with John Eisenberg, the National Security Council lawyer.
In September, House Democrats started the impeachment inquiry against Trump over his 25 July telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which the US leader purportedly tried to force Kiev to investigate alleged corruption by Hunter Biden, who was linked to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
A whistleblower claimed that the White House had tried to limit access to the transcript of the call and described it as Trump's attempt to solicit a foreign power to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.