As part of their investigations into whether President Donald Trump attempted to compel a foreign power into investigating his political rivals, the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry requested on Tuesday that Trump’s acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney appear to speak before them.
The House investigators formally requested that Mulvaney speak on Friday of this week in a closed-door interview, according to reporting from U.S. News & World Report.
Their request comes because Democrats on the committee believe Mulvaney has relevant “first-hand knowledge” of Trump’s interactions with Ukraine, particularly as it pertains to investigating potential 2020 political opponent Joe Biden and a Democratic server some allege (without proof) the Ukraine government has its hands on.
“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 request reads.
It’s unlikely that Mulvaney will voluntarily agree to meet with the committees, as other White House officials have already said they will not appear in such a manner. If he rejects the offer, investigators may try to compel him to appear through the use of a subpoena order, which could require the courts to intervene in order to get him to show up.
Mulvaney’s presence is likely due to comments he made in the middle of October, in which it appeared as though he admitted Trump had attempted to get Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to open investigations that would benefit Trump politically.
— ABC News (@ABC) November 5, 2019
“Did [Trump] also mention to me in [the] past the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely. No question about that. But that’s it, and that’s why we held up the money,” Mulvaney said, per previous reporting from HillReporter.com.
Mulvaney went onto say within that press conference that the matter wasn’t that big of a deal. “I have news for everybody: Get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy,” Mulvaney said.
Later on that day, Mulvaney stepped back from those words, saying that the media “decided to misconstrue my comments to advance a biased and political witch hunt against President Trump.”
“The president never told me to withhold any money until the Ukrainians did anything related to the server,” Mulvaney said, contradicting his earlier statements.