Democrats on Thursday said acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s admission that President Trump held up aid money to Ukraine in relation to starting an investigation of whether foreign nations helped Democrats in the 2016 election is a grave new development for the impeachment inquiry.
“Mr. Mulvaney’s acknowledgment means things have gone from very, very bad to much, much worse,” said House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, California Democrat.
Another California Democrat, Rep. Eric Swalwell, said Mr. Mulvaney essentially “co-signed the president’s confession.” But he still believes Mr. Trump deserves “a fair process.”
Mr. Mulvaney said Thursday there was nothing improper about the withholding of aid to a foreign nation.
“We do that all the time with foreign policy,” he told reporters.
Republicans were largely mum Thursday regarding Mr. Mulvaney’s remarks. Some entering the U.S. Capitol room where U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was testifying said they had not seen the press conference.
Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican, said Democrats are getting ahead of themselves, as a lot of members were in the Sondland deposition during the press conference.
He said it was legitimate to look into whether Ukraine was involved in 2016 election interference, noting that was a longstanding concern of his. He said the origins of the so-called Steele Dossier were connected to Ukraine.
“The key, to date, is that every single witness and every single fact has no supported any aid pause or holdup in foreign aid being attached to any conditions and that has been consistent with every witness we’ve heard so far,” he said.
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