The chairs of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight Committees sent a letter to acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney on Tuesday to request his testimony in the House impeachment inquiry.
In the letter, Democrats Adam Schiff, Eliot Engel, and Carolyn Maloney state that they believe Mulvaney has “substantial first-hand knowledge” relevant to the inquiry into President Trump’s administration and its dealings with Ukraine.
“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 letter reads.
Mulvaney made headlines in October when, during a press conference announcing the now-withdrawn decision to host the 2020 G-7 summit at President Trump’s resort in Miami, he seemed to admit of a quid pro quo in the holding of Ukrainian military funds by the White House in exchange for public acknowledgement by Ukraine on corruption investigations.
“Did he also mention to me in the pass that the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely. No question about that. But that’s it, that’s why we held up the money,” Mulvaney had said in the initial exchange on October 17. When ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl pressed Mulvaney on whether he was confirming that there had been a quid pro quo related to the Ukraine aid, Mulvaney stated, “The look-back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that [Trump] was worried about, and that is absolutely appropriate.”
Mulvaney subsequently released a statement attempting to clarify his comments, but the answer drew scrutiny from top Democrats.
“The fact that [acting] chief of staff Mulvaney, with his acknowledgement now that military aid to a vital ally, an ally battling Russia as we speak, was withheld in part out of desire by the president to have Ukraine investigate the DNC server or Democrats or 2016, things have just gone from very, very bad to much, much worse,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) said at the time.
The Tuesday letter cites Mulvaney’s exchange as incriminating evidence as “nothing less than a televised confession that President Trump’s order to freeze Ukrainian security assistance was explicitly linked to Ukraine pursuing investigations as part of an effort to bolster the President’s 2020 re-election campaign.”