Nov 10, 2019

Judge to consider Mulvaney request to join suit naming Trump as defendant

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney speaks during an October briefing at the White House. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing for Monday on Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's request to join a pending lawsuit naming President Trump and congressional leaders as defendants, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Mulvaney asked late Friday to join former Deputy National Security Adviser Charles Kupperman's suit after he failed to comply with a subpoena ordering his testimony before the House committees investigating Trump and Ukraine.

  • In a court filing, lawyers for Mulvaney compared his situation to that of Kupperman's, who requested that a judge determine whether he should comply with the subpoena or a White House order blocking him from testifying, as they sought clarity over whether their client should testify in the impeachment inquiry.
"Mr. Mulvaney, like Mr. Kupperman, finds himself caught in that division, trapped between the commands of two of its co-equal branches — with one of those branches threatening him with contempt. He turns to this Court for aid."
— Excerpt from Mulvaney's court filing

The big picture: Per Axios' Alayna Treene, several current and former Trump administration officials have "told House investigators that Mulvaney carried out Trump’s directive to suspend $400 million in security assistance to Ukraine."

  • Mulvaney's outside counsel said Friday that he "had been directed by the White House not to comply with the duly authorized subpoena and asserted 'absolute immunity,'" according to a House official working on the impeachment inquiry.

Between the lines: Chris Whipple, author "The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency," told the New York Times Mulvaney's filing was "symptomatic of a White House that is more dysfunctional than ever — except now it’s not just chaos, the long knives are coming out."

  • "Given that Mulvaney has been willing to do almost anything for Trump, it’s remarkable that he’s asking for a second opinion," he told the NYT.

Read Mulvaney's court filing:

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Mick Mulvaney will not sue to block impeachment inquiry subpoena

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said in a court filing Tuesday that he will not file suit to block a subpoena from House impeachment investigators, and will instead refuse to cooperate at the direction of President Trump and the Justice Department.

The big picture: Mulvaney had previously sought to join a lawsuit brought by former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman, who has asked a judge to rule whether he should comply with a House subpoena or an order from the president.

Go deeperArrowNov 12, 2019

Mulvaney denies Fiona Hill testimony tying him to Ukraine scheme

Photo: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A lawyer for White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney released a statement Thursday casting doubt on the testimony of former top Russia adviser Fiona Hill, who told investigators that EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland had a "deal" with Mulvaney to engage in a quid pro quo with Ukraine using a coveted White House visit.

Why it matters: Sondland testified that he kept Mulvaney and a number of other top administration officials apprised of his efforts to push Ukraine to announce investigations into the Bidens and the 2016 election. Mulvaney himself admitted at a press conference in October that Trump conditioned military assistance to Ukraine on the announcement of the 2016 investigation, before later walking it back.

Go deeperArrowNov 21, 2019

Report: WH review finds Mulvaney sought to justify blocking Ukraine aid

Mick Mulvaney. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

A confidential internal review found White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney asked budget office officials for an "after-the-fact justification" for withholding aid to Ukraine, the Washington Post first reported Sunday.

Why it matters: The issue of blocking almost $400 million in military aid to Ukraine is central to the impeachment inquiry, as House investigators examine allegations that President Trump ordered the move to press for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. Trump denies any wrongdoing.

Go deeperArrowNov 25, 2019