Mick Mulvaney Just Got Thrown In The Center Of The Ukraine Scandal: Report
According to a report by The Washington Post, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was deeply involved in the White House’s dealings with Ukraine, coordinating more with diplomats and other administration officials than previously known.
Citing current and former officials, The Post reports that Mulvaney worked closely with diplomats Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker and Energy Secretary Rick Perry at a time when the White House was pressuring Kiev to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, one of the leading contenders to face President Trump in the 2020 election.
The officials told The Post that Mulvaney played a large role in the unfolding crisis. Officials said Mulvaney often met with Sondland and that details of their conversations were kept from then-National Security Adviser John Bolton and others who had expressed concerns about the White House’s efforts regarding Ukraine.
The report revealed that Mulvaney also coordinated meetings between Trump and Giuliani as Giuliani publicly discussed his efforts to lobby Kiev into investigating conspiracy theories about the 2016 election and dig up dirt on Biden.
Mulvaney, at Trump’s behest, put a hold on nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine in the weeks before Trump held a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he pressured him to work with Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr to investigate Biden, a phone call that has, in part, triggered the House’s impeachment investigation.
According to the report, Mulvaney told staff that the money to Kiev could be turned on and off without legal repercussions though some questioned the legality of putting the aid on hold.
Officials told The Post that the shadow campaign to get Kiev to politically benefit Trump could not have been conducted without Mulvaney’s facilitation of meetings and blocking the aid.
A declassified copy of a whistleblower complaint regarding the call said that a future phone call or meeting between the two presidents “would depend on whether Zelensky showed willingness to ‘play ball,’ ” and that “multiple White House officials with direct knowledge” of the call were alarmed that Trump appeared to be using his office for his personal political gain and sought to bury the transcript of the conversation.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment from Political Dig.