The House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney late Thursday to appear before three panels for a deposition on Friday morning as part of an ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Trump.
Mulvaney has emerged as a central figure into the probe, which centers around a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. House Democrats allege that Trump sought to persuade Zelensky to open an investigation into former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine in exchange for military aid.
Despite the White House’s insistence that there was no quid pro quo, Mulvaney appeared to indicate otherwise at a news conference on Oct. 17.
“We do that all the time with foreign policy,” Mulvaney said. “And I have news for everybody: Get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy.”
On Tuesday, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Oversight Committee acting Chair Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., requested Mulvaney appear for a deposition.
“On October 17, 2019, Mr. Mulvaney admitted from the White House briefing room that the President withheld vital military aid in order to pressure Ukraine to conduct investigations that would benefit the President’s personal and political interests, not the national interest,” a person working on the impeachment inquiry told Fox News on Thursday. “Other testimony during this inquiry also has indicated that Mr. Mulvaney could shed additional light on the President’s abuse of the power of his office for his personal gain.”
“Mr. Mulvaney has the opportunity to uphold his oath to the nation and constitution by testifying tomorrow under oath about matters of keen national importance. We hope Mr. Mulvaney does not hide behind the President’s ongoing efforts to conceal the truth and obstruct our investigation.”
Mulvaney ignored a subpoena issued by the House last month to turn over any documents related to the inquiry, and his top aide, Robert Blair, refused to comply with a subpoena to testify this week.
The White House also rebuffed formal requests by House Democrats on Tuesday to have Mulvaney testify.
“Past Democrat and Republican administrations would not be inclined to permit senior advisers to the president to participate in such a ridiculous, partisan, illegitimate proceeding – and neither is this one,” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters on Tuesday.
The House has deposed dozens of witnesses, several of whom have indicated that Mulvaney — who is also the director of the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) withheld military assistance to Ukraine on Trump’s orders, a charge strongly denied by the White House.
“Specifically, the investigation has revealed that you may have been directly involved in an effort orchestrated by President Trump, his personal agent, Rudolph Giuliani, and others to withhold a coveted White House meeting and nearly $400 million in security assistance in order to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to pursue investigations that would benefit President Trump’s personal political interests, and jeopardized our national security in attempting to do so,” the Democrats said in Tuesday’s letter.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.
Source: Politico Usa News