In a press conference this Thursday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney undermined a key White House defense relating to the Ukraine scandal, admitting that there was indeed a quid pro quo discussed on President Trump’s infamous July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president.
“The look back to what happened in 2016, certainly, was part of the things that he was worried about in corruption with that nation, and that is absolutely appropriate,” Mulvaney told ABC’s Jonathan Karl. “We do it all the time with foreign policy.”
Unsurprisingly, Mulvaney’s comments kicked off a firestorm of criticism on political Twitter. One person chiming in was former acting U.S. Solicitor General and Supreme Court litigator Neal Katyal, who tweeted that Mulvaney all but outright admitted that Trump has committed a clear impeachable offense.
This is the textbook definition of an impeachable offense, and the White House Chief of Staff has just admitted it. https://t.co/sF4tSVyqxR
— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) October 17, 2019
“This is the textbook definition of an impeachable offense, and the White House Chief of Staff has just admitted it,” Katyal tweeted.
As Law & Crime pointed out, Trump’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, attempted to distance the White House from Mulvaney’s comments, telling CNN that Trump’s legal team “was not involved in the Acting Chief of Staff’s press briefing.”
Trump ‘blew up’ Republicans’ Yovanovitch strategy with bone-headed tweet: Former GOP House Intel chair
Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), who once served as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, shredded President Donald Trump for his widely panned decision to tweet out smears of former American ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
When asked by CNN's Jake Tapper on Friday what he made of the Yovanovitch hearing so far, Rogers didn't mince words about the president's behavior.
"I think the president blew up any Republican plan to treat the witness with respect when he tweeted out this morning," he said. "So I think that kind of screwed up their rhythm a little bit."
‘Quiet!’ Trump erupts as reporters question him about witness intimidation — and demands ‘freedom of speech’
President Donald Trump on Friday got into a testy exchange with reporters after they asked him whether his angry tweet at former American ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch constituted witness intimidation.
While talking with reporters, Trump falsely claimed that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee had been prevented from asking questions during Yovanovitch's testimony.
"We have the right to speak!" the president fumed. "I have freedom of speech just as other people do but they have taken away the Republicans rights. I watched today as certain very talented people, who wanted to ask questions, and they weren’t even allowed to ask questions, Republicans. They weren’t allowed to ask questions."
Laughter breaks out inside hearing room as Dem mocks GOP’s attempts to downplay smear campaign against Yovanovitch
During the second public House impeachment hearing this Friday, Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL) took a dig at President Trump in light of testimony from former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, who recounted how she became the target of a smear campaign orchestrated by Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, along with the help of the right-wing news media. After her ouster from her position, Yovanovitch returned to Washington and took up a role as a senior State Department fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.
"It's like a Hallmark movie -- you ended up at Georgetown. This is all okay," Quigley said sarcastically, prompting laughter from the room.