Donald Trump's former White House chief of staff encouraged Americans to watch the Jan. 6 committee hearings.
Mick Mulvaney, who served as Trump's acting chief of staff from January 2019 until March 2020, has consistently defended the House Select Committee against partisan attacks, saying that Republicans should view the hearings and keep an open mind about the findings -- and he described his own experience testifying before the panel in an op-ed published by the Charlotte Observer.
"The committee itself was exactly what I had expected. It was professional: the staff lawyers who interviewed me were diligent, courteous, and well-prepared," Mulvaney wrote. "But it was undeniably political: the committee does not exist to determine whether Donald Trump’s face should go on Mount Rushmore; it exists to try to damage him politically. And there is certainly no one on the committee who considers it their responsibility to defend him. To the contrary, every single person involved most likely believes it is their job to make him look bad."
Mulvaney said he had little information to share about Jan. 6, when he resigned from his post as special envoy to Northern Ireland, but he said the panel was keenly interested in a Nov. 3, 2021, text he sent to Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel, Jared Kushner and others from the Trump campaign after McDaniel said on a campaign call that Trump had lost Arizona.
“I’m getting this sinking feeling that everyone other than me thinks we have lost this election," Mulvaney said in the text. "I am out there telling everyone we haven’t. If people know something I do not, I would appreciate it if you would let me know. It is better for me not to do TV, and keep my mouth shut, than to do TV and say we have a chance when the people in the know know that we do not.”
Mulvaney, who was national co-chair of Catholics for Trump and acted as a media surrogate for the campaign, said the committee's interest in his text helped him understand what they hoped to accomplish in their investigation.
"One case the committee has been trying to make in the hearings is that people at the campaign knew Trump lost the 2020 election and told him so," Mulvaney wrote. "Indeed, many have already testified to exactly that. The committee will likely use my text as additional evidence on that point. Would that text have seen the light of day but for the committee? Unlikely. Might it convince people that even members of his innermost campaign circle knew that Trump had lost the election? Perhaps. But the text is truthful and accurate. And it was coming from someone who not only voted for the president, but worked in his administration and campaigned to get him re-elected. If it helps anyone make up their minds, on their own, that Trump lost the 2020 election, then it has some value."
"The committee is bringing facts to light that people would otherwise never see," he added. "That doesn’t change just because it is biased. If it sheds light on the truth of Jan. 6, then it has value. People should watch, and make up their own minds."
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