Following reports on the latest document leak from the White House, which exposed a troubling investigation into trying to find legal justifications for a hold on military aid to Ukraine after it had already taken place, two separate factions are claiming the other side was responsible for the bad press.
Individuals close to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone are reportedly insisting that people working under acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney are to blame for the leak, while members of that group are saying the opposite is true.
The factionalism within the White House over this latest leak hasn’t spilled out into the public just yet; rather, the news of the infighting stems from reporting from New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman, who tweeted about the testiness between the two sides on Monday.
“This story about the ongoing review re the Ukraine issue, first reported by the Post, has people close to Mulvaney and people close to Cipollone blaming the other camp for it getting out, in a situation that doesn’t seem sustainable through election year,” Haberman wrote.
This story about the ongoing review re the Ukraine issue, first reported by the Post, has people close to Mulvaney and people close to Cipollone blaming the other camp for it getting out, in a situation that doesn’t seem sustainable through election year. https://t.co/bE3I9gsXr3
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 25, 2019
The documents leaked are embarrassing, at the very least, for the administration, and problematic in other ways, as it derails a key argument for the White House as it attempts to defend President Donald Trump against allegations being made toward him in the ongoing impeachment inquiry, HillReporter.com reported earlier on Monday.
The docs deal with an examination of actions taken by Trump in July, in which he allegedly put a hold on military aid to Ukraine, doled out by Congress months before, in order to compel that nation to open investigations into one of the president’s political rivals. The information about the documents was initially leaked to the Washington Post.
While the administration and GOP backers in Congress have long-maintained that the action taken by Trump was in no way illegal, White House lawyers were more skeptical about the view, undermining that argument and providing fodder for Democrats in the impeachment hearings to state that even Trump’s own counsel knew what he was doing was wrong.