Mulvaney Admits To Multiple Impeachable Offenses In Presser

Mick Mulvaney walked into the White House Press Briefing Room and admitted to the Trump-Ukraine quid pro quo and a new Trump emoluments clause violation.
Mick Mulvaney speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore)

Mick Mulvaney speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore)

Update: As of 10/19 President Trump announced that he will no longer push to hold the G7 at his Doral resort.

In a single press conference, Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney admitted to multiple crimes and impeachable offenses on the part of President Trump. The most consequential admission was that there was a quid pro quo between the Trump Administration and the Ukrainian government. Mulvaney also announced that Trump’s Doral resort will be the hosting site for the G7 in June, 2020. Mulvaney said it was Trump who broached the idea.

So, we have an admission of the quid pro quo at the heart of House Democrat’s impeachment probe, and an admission that President Trump directed a violation of the emoluments clause in another brazen effort to profit from the presidency. Let’s dive into the quid pro quo admission first.

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As we know, President Trump, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, and various members of the Trump Administration have illegally sought to extort the Ukrainian government into interfering in the 2020 election. The effort spans multiple months and includes numerous Trump officials. It culminated in the now-infamous July 25th phone call, one day after the Mueller hearings, where President Trump asked Ukrainian President Zelensky to investigate his political rival Joe Biden and his son while military aid was being withheld. Trump also sought an investigation regarding Democrats and the 2016 election.

The White House released a memo of President Trump’s call with President Zelensky that confirmed the request for the investigations came in the context of military aid. Texts from former Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland revealed further evidence of the quid pro quo. In spite of this, the Trump Administration has denied that military aid was withheld in connection with their demand for investigations that help Trump’s 2020 election bid… until now.

Mulvaney, whose involvement in the effort to pressure Ukraine has been further exposed in recent days, held a press conference on Thursday. Mulvaney admitted that the Trump Administration withheld military aid from Ukraine while they were seeking an investigation into the 2016 election (a conspiracy theory about how Ukraine interfered in the election and framed Russia on behalf of Democrats):

When challenged, Mulvaney proceeded to lie and claim that this is something the US has always done and went on to say: “Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy.”

Mick Mulvaney then went on to admit that the Trump Administration was seeking a deliverable from Ukraine (releasing a statement announcing the probes Trump requested) amid withheld military aid. Mulvaney was clearly confirming much of Sondland’s Thursday testimony in real-time.

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In a nutshell, President Trump’s Ukraine defense messaging essentially went from “no quid pro quo” to “hell yeah, quid pro quo, get over it” in the blink of an eye. It’s also important to note that Trump asked China to investigate Biden as well. The White House appears to be admitting these crimes in an effort to normalize them. Not only is it a crime to solicit foreign election help, but the quid pro quo and withheld military aid also brings in potential extortion offenses.

House Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry have already jumped at Mulvaney’s admission.

Mulvaney later released a statement that tried to walk this admission back and say his words were misconstrued.

When it comes to the unconstitutional Trump Doral G7 debacle, it’s fairly simple how this is impeachable. The Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 9) reads:

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

There’s a Domestic Emoluments Clause as well. It’s unconstitutional for the President to profit from his office, but Trump has been doing it throughout his presidency. It appears that Trump is doing this G7 move to help save his failing Doral resort.

Mulvaney admitted that this was Trump’s idea.

In an impeachment inquiry, House investigators usually have to dig deep to gather evidence necessary to file articles of impeachment. The White House has just done much of the leg work for them.

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News // Donald Trump / Emoluments / Impeachment / Mick Mulvaney