Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney will skip a scheduled deposition Friday before the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, despite receiving subpoena for his attendance, a senior administration official told NBC News.
“He won’t be showing up,” the official said.
The House Intelligence Committee had subpoenaed Mulvaney to testify Friday, an official working on the probe told NBC News late Thursday.
The decision by Mulvaney, one of the highest-ranking officials subpoenaed in the inquiry to date, to not come is in line with several other officials who were ordered by the president not to cooperate with the investigation.
During a press conference last month, Mulvaney admitted that the president withheld vital military aid to pressure Ukraine to conduct investigations that would benefit the president’s personal and political interests, an official working on the impeachment inquiry said. He has since walked back the televised statement.
When asked by ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl if he was describing a quid pro quo between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Mulvaney replied, “We do that all the time with foreign policy,” citing the example that the U.S. held up money to three Central American countries to convince them to change their immigration policies.
“Get over it,” Mulvaney said. “There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy.”
Despite the public admission and subsequent walk-back, other testimony during the inquiry has indicated Mulvaney could shed additional light on further abuse of power by the president, the official added. Investigators are wrapping up the private interviews as they prepare to start public hearings next week.
Democrats scheduled 13 witnesses to testify behind closed doors this week but so far only two people ― Jennifer Williams, special adviser to Europe and Russia to Vice President Mike Pence and another State Department employee, David Hale ― have shown up.
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19 PHOTOSActing White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneySee GalleryActing White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyWhite House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announces that the G7 will be held at Trump National Doral, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 17: Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney answers questions during a briefing at the White House October 17, 2019 in Washington, DC. Mulvaney answered a range of questions relating to the issues surrounding the impeachment inquiry of U.S. President Donald Trump, and other issues during the briefing. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney arrives to answer questions from reporters during a news briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 17, 2019. REUTERS/Leah MillisWASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 08:White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney speaks to members of the media after a House Republican Conference meeting September 8, 2017 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. Mulvaney was on the Hill to push for the Trump Administration’s Hurricane Harvey relief and debt limit package.(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), holds up what he described as U.S. President Barack Obama regulations during a White House press briefing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 20, 2017. Mulvaney has called Trump’s tax-cutting approach to the economy MAGAnomics, a spin on Trump’s campaign slogan, ‘Make America Great Again’ and has repeatedly attacked the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) for its estimates on the impact of Republicans’ plans to repeal and replace Obamacare. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesMick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, speaks about ‘MAGAnomics’ during the daily press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC, July 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB(Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 21: OMB Director Mick Mulvaney testifies during a Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing on the budget for the Office of Management and Budget on Capitol Hill on June 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Astrid Riecken/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC – Budget Director forPresident Donald Trump, Mick Mulvaney explains and defends the administration’s 2018 budget to the House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC Wednesday May 24, 2017. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)UNITED STATES – MAY 24: OMB Director Mick Mulvaney testifies before a House Budget Committee hearing in Longworth Building titled ‘The President’s FY2018 Budget’ on May 24, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)Mick Mulvaney, director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), listens during a House Budget Committee hearing on U.S. President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. Trump would dramatically reduce the U.S. government’s role in society with $3.6 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years in a budget plan that shrinks the safety net for the poor, recent college graduates and farmers. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesWASHINGTON, DC – MAY 23:Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney holds a news conference to discuss the Trump Administration’s proposed FY2017 federal budget in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House May 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. Calling it a ‘New Foundation for American Greatness,’ the $4.1 trillion budget for would cut programs for the poor, including health care, food stamps, student loans and disability payments while offering big tax cuts for the wealthy.(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)Mick Mulvaney, director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, center, holds a volume of the fiscal year 2018 budget while speaking with Davita Vance-Cooks, director of the Government Publishing Office (GPO), left, during a tour of the GPO production facility in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, May 19, 2017. Presidentï¿½Donald Trumpï¿½will send to Congress on Tuesday a proposal for balancing the federal budget within 10 years through deep cuts to discretionary and safety net spending, according to a U.S. official. Photographer: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesWASHINGTON, DC – MAY 02:White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer (R) walks into the briefing room with OMB Director Mick Mulvaney (L) and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly (C), to brief the media on President Trump’s budget, at the White House(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), right, speaks as Gray Davis, former governor of California, listens during the Leaders In Global Healthcare and Technology (LIGHT) conference at Stanford University in Stanford, California, U.S., on Thursday, May 11, 2017. The LIGHT conference gathers leaders from a broad cross-section of executives and top policy makers in the health-care field to discuss the latest developments, challenges and opportunities shaping the healthcare industry. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesWASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 16:Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney arrives for a briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House March 16, 2017 in Washington, DC. Mulvaney took questions about President Donald Trump’s federal budget blueprint which was released Thursday.(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 13:U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price (L) and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney talk to reporters following the release of the Congressional Budget Office report on the proposed American Health Care Act outside the White House West Wing March 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. Price said ‘We disagree strenuously’ with the findings of the CBO report about the Republican’s attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)US Vice President Mike Pence (R) delivers remarks before swearing in Mick Mulvaney (L) as Director of the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, DC, on February 16, 2017. / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM(Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 16: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (C) Mick Mulvaney (L), swears as new Office of Management and Budget Director, as his wife Pam Mulvaney holds a bible during a ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on February 16, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)UNITED STATES – NOVEMBER 4: Reps. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., left, and Randy Hultgren, R-Ill., attend a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Rayburn Building titled Semi-Annual Testimony on the Federal Reserves Supervision and Regulation of the Financial System,’ November 4, 2015. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen testified. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)Up Next
Democrats also requested interviews from two other high-level Trump administration witnesses, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and former National Security Adviser John Bolton. Perry did not show up for his Wednesday interview. Following suit, Bolton also failed to appear Thursday for closed-door testimony, which his lawyer quickly qualified as being voluntary.
Bolton, who was fired by Trump in September, has been named in prior testimonies by other officials, who according to public transcripts and reports from inside the room, describe Bolton as being disturbed by Trump and his associates pushing to get Ukraine to probe former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a conspiracy theory related to the 2016 presidential election.
Still, Democrats have indicated they think they already have ample testimony about Trump’s conduct on Ukraine. The slew of current and former officials from the State Department and White House have appeared and largely corroborated the same narrative — that Trump had delegated his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to guide U.S.-Ukraine policy and that the two men were focused on pressuring Ukraine as the administration withheld military aid from the country.
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