Choi and Pietrangelo subpoena President Obama to testify at their trial

UPDATE: The White House guards turned away the process server. The lawyer has contacted the White House legal counsel’s office to ask for guidance.

Lawyers for Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo, who have been arrested twice for handcuffing themselves to the White House fence in DADT protests, have issued a subpoena to the President to testify at their trial on July 14th.

A copy of the subpoena, which will be delivered to the White House shortly, is below.

Mark Goldstone and Ann Wilcox, the lawyers for the two servicemembers, released a memo explaining their rationale for the subpoena:

[Choi and Pietrangelo] seek to compel the testimony of President Barack Obama who has, on several occasions as President and Commander in Chief (and previously as a Senator and Presidential Candidate) called on the LGBT community to “pressure” him to change the DADT law and policy, thus allowing gay servicemembers to serve their country openly and honorably.

The subpoena of the President is necessary for the defense to prove that Defendants were following and obeying lawful orders or directives by their President and Commander in Chief, and were therefore under an obligation and authority to act as they did in order to pressure him – in a non-violent, visible way – on this important public issue. In addition, these statements support the contention that Defendants were acting out of necessity, in order to prevent discrimination and greater harm to gay servicemembers now serving.

Choi and Pietrangelo were doing what their Commander-in-Chief ordered them to do. And, the memo provides several examples of the President’s words, including these remarks at the HRC fundraising dinner in October of 2009:

And that’s why it’s so important that you continue to speak out, that you continue to set an example, that you continue to pressure leaders — including me — and to make the case all across America,” Obama added.”

Here’s the subpoena:
Choi/Pietrangelo Subpoena of President Obama

And, here’s the full memo from the Defense lawyers:
Memo from Defense Counsel for Choi and Pietrangelo

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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