On Friday night, lawyers for “acting” Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney sought to join a lawsuit (if not quite a unique one then pretty close) which lists both President Trump and congressional leaders as defendants, asking a federal judge to decide who he and other White House officials must obey. The suit was originally brought by Charles M. Kupperman, the former Deputy National Security Advisor, and is being used, if not formally joined, by John Bolton, former National Security Advisor. (Kupperman and Bolton share the same lawyer, Charles J. Cooper.)
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Despite the seeming oddity of a serving White House Chief of Staff suing the President, this may actually be at least in part an effort to help Trump. By joining this lawsuit, Mulvaney not only gives himself a legal safe harbor, he may tie the question up in the courts long enough that it stretches beyond the life of the impeachment inquiry and thus becomes moot.