Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has been subpoenaed to appear today morning before the House Intelligence Committee as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, an official working on the inquiry told CNN.
“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,” the official told CNN. “We hope Mr. Mulvaney does not hide behind the President’s ongoing efforts to conceal the truth and obstruct our investigation.”
However: A White House official told CNN on Thursday that Mulvaney is not expected to appear despite the subpoena, noting that the subpoena was expected and doesn’t change the White House’s view on the matter.
The subpoena comes following House investigators’ request on Tuesday that Mulvaney testify on Capitol Hill at the end of the week, ratcheting up their investigation to target the President’s top aide. The House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees sent Mulvaney a letter requesting he appear for a closed-door deposition as part of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Trump and Ukraine.
Keep track of events and the key people involved with our visual timeline. This is pulled mostly from CNN’s body of fact checks on this topic, but also includes background published in the whistleblower complaint, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker and from an extremely detailed timeline curated on the website Just Security.
Trump and his defenders want Joe Biden to appear before Congress. The President also reportedly asked Attorney General William Barr to declare that no laws had been broken during the Ukraine phone call. Will we hear from any of these consequential figures during the impeachment hearings?
David Chalian talked to national security reporter Jeremy Herb and former National Security Council staffer Samantha Vinograd Thursday. Listen here
The impeachment inquiry has uncovered at least three examples of the quid pro quo between the Trump administration and Ukraine, where US military aid and a White House visit were used as leverage to secure an announcement that Ukraine was investigating President Donald Trump’s rivals, according to documents and testimony from key witnesses.
Legal analysts and experts on the impeachment process have said the investigation doesn’t actually need to find incontrovertible proof of a quid pro quo for the House to impeach Trump.
Nevertheless, after a month of interviews with senior Trump administration officials, lawmakers have unearthed at least three examples of the quid pro quo.
- The Volker text messages
- The Trump phone call
- The Sondland pull-aside
For a complete breakdown, read more here.
A push by House Democrats to impeach President Donald Trump by Christmas reflects urgent political pressures but also a deeper driving force: a belief that they have got the impeachment goods on him.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s generals are cranking up the pace of their investigation ahead of next week’s televised hearings, which will stress the grave historic reality of what lies ahead.
It makes sense for Democrats to seize the moment as the attention of the nation is focused on impeachment, as a torrent of evidence runs in their favor and as flailing Republicans struggle to settle on a coherent defense of the President.
In a sign the White House is trying to stem the Democratic momentum, a White House official told CNN that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is unlikely to appear to testify Friday despite the subpoena he was issued Thursday.
Polls showing a modest spike in the number of Americans in favor of impeaching and removing Trump are another argument for a swift process before the public tires of the whole thing. Speed could help Democrats fashion a concise but direct argument that Trump abused his power by using his authority to set foreign policy in order to demand political favors of a vulnerable government in Ukraine.
All that explains why when former national security adviser John Bolton refused to testify before impeachment investigators Thursday, they declined to issue a subpoena even though he is considered an insider witness with a colorful story to tell.
Here are the latest developments in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump:
- Subpoena denied: A White House official says acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is not expected to appear today despite the subpoena issued to compel his testimony in the impeachment inquiry. The subpoena was expected and doesn’t change the White House view on the matter, the official said.
- Cease and desist: A lawyer for the Ukraine whistleblower, whose complaint document triggered the House impeachment inquiry of President Trump, has sent a letter to the White House warning the President to “cease and desist” attacking his client. Trump has repeatedly attacked the whistleblower and tried to discredit the individual, saying he, Trump, deserves to “meet his accuser” and has demanded the whistleblower’s identity be revealed.
- Transcript released: House impeachment investigators on Thursday released a transcript of career diplomat George Kent’s testimony. His testimony provides new details on the reactions inside the State Department to Rudy Giuliani’s efforts inside Ukraine that Kent and others say ran counter to US foreign policy. Kent’s testimony sheds new light on instances where Kurt Volker, former special envoy for Ukraine, appeared to press the Ukrainians to announce investigations if they wanted to secure a White House meeting, as well as Trump’s desire for the Ukrainian leader to “say investigations, Biden, Clinton” in announcing an investigation. Kent testified that he believed there was a quid pro quo linking a meeting to the investigations —bolstering the views of other key witnesses — though he said that he didn’t see US military aid to Ukraine as part of the equation.
- Aide testifies: Also on Thursday, Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, testified behind closed doors for more than four hours on Capitol Hill. Williams, who listened to the July 25 call between Trump and Ukraine’s leader, told Congress that she found the conversation to be unusual because it was political in nature, according to a source familiar with the testimony.
- John Bolton was a no-show: The former national security adviser did not show up for his deposition on Thursday, according to a committee official. The House Intelligence Committee did not issue a subpoena for Bolton after his attorney threatened to go to court to fight it, the official said.
- Possible timeline: House Democrats could wrap up the impeachment inquiry and vote on possibly impeaching President Trump by Christmas. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not shared her thinking on the final timeline with her colleagues, and Democratic sources say the timing is still fluid and could continue to evolve. But in a series of moves this week, Democrats have shown they are rapidly moving to complete the proceedings by Christmas, something that could result in Trump being just the third president to be impeached in history.
- Trump wants the Bidens to testify: Trump tweeted yesterday that Joe and Hunter Biden “must testify” in the impeachment inquiry. Trump’s allies — including Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Rand Paul — have also expressed interest in this, too.