On Thursday, former top Russia adviser Fiona Hill told investigators that EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland had a “deal” with White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to engage in a quid pro quo with Ukraine using a coveted White House visit. The explosive revelation prompted Mulvaney to release a statement through his lawyer Bob Driscoll, in an effort to distance himself from the scandal.
Sondland testified on Wednesday 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.
“Fiona Hill’s testimony is riddled with speculation and guesses about any role that Mr. Mulvaney played with anything related to Ukraine. She bases much of her testimony about him on things allegedly heard from unnamed staffers, guards in the West Wing, and “many people.” The fact is that Ms. Hill has never met Mr. Mulvaney other than in passing, and has never discussed anything with him regarding Ukraine.” the statement reads.
It adds: ” We have no idea why Ms. Hill believes Mr. Mulvaney was so heavily involved, especially in light of Ambassador Sondland’s contrary testimony that he only spoke very infrequently to Mr. Mulvaney and had zero substantive conversations with him about Ukraine. This inquiry continues to be a sham. No court in this country would give any weight to testimony about Mr. Mulvaney as speculative as Ms. Hill’s. Neither should Congress or the public.”
Vice President Mike Pence and Energy Secretary Rick Perry have also released statements this week disputing elements of certain testimonies in the impeachment hearings.
Mulvaney, Pence and Perry have been asked to cooperate in the House’s inquiry, but none have defied Congressional subpoenas at the direction of the president.