October 17, 2019

Apparently, Mick Mulvaney prescribes to the Trumpian gospel that if you say something out in the open, that makes it legal.

"Of course there's a quid pro quo with our military spending, we do it all the time" isn't a Get Out of Impeachment Free Card, Mick.

This is like finding the Nixon tapes except Nixon reenacts all of his conversations with Haldeman and Ehrlichman in dramatic fashion on live television.

Schiff responds:


MULVANEY: Did [Trump] also mention to me in passing the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely. no question about that. That's it, and that's why we held up the money.

KARL: So the demand for an investigation into the Democrats was part of the reason that he was ordered to withhold funding to Ukraine?

MULVANEY: The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that he was worried about in corruption with that nation. And that is absolutely appropriate, which ultimately then flowed. We worried if we didn't pay out the money it would be illegal, it would be unlawful. That is one of those things that has a little shred of truth in it that makes it look a lot worse than it really is. We were concerned about, over at OMB, about an impoundment. I know I put half of you folks to bed, but there is the Budget and Impoundment act of '74 that says if Congress appropriates money, you have to spend it. We knew that money had to go out the door by the end of September or we had to have a really good reason not to do it. 

KARL: To be clear, what you described is a quid pro quo. It is funding will not flow unless the investigation into the democratic server happened as well.

MULVANEY: We do that all the time with foreign policy. We were holding up money at the same time to the northern triangle countries so they would change their policies on immigration. By the way, and this speaks to -- this speaks to an important point because i heard this yesterday and i can never remember the gentleman who testified. Was it McKinney? I don't remember, he testified yesterday. If you believe the news reports -- we've not seen any transcripts of this -- If you read the news reports and you believe them, what did McKinney say yesterday? He said he was really upset with the political influence in foreign policy. That was one of the reasons he was so upset about this. 

I have news for everybody: Get over it. There's going to be political influence in foreign policy. elections have consequences and the foreign policy is going to change from the Obama administration to the Trump administration. What you're seeing now, I believe, is a group of mostly career bureaucrats who are saying you know, I don't like President Trump's politics so I'm going to participate in this witch hunt they're undertaking on the Hill. Elections do have consequences and they should. Foreign policy is going to change. Obama did it in one way, we're doing it a different way and there's no problem with that.

Karoli adds:

Mulvaney is so very careful not to mention Joe Biden in the exchange with the reporter that follows Karl because he knows that is clearly impeachable. This business of hanging his hat on the non-existent DNC server is their way of walking the line of questionable legality. I'd also like to slap him for his slam on career civil servants, especially the career diplomats who routinely serve Republican and Democratic presidents.

UPDATE: All the rats are scurrying!

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