Trump chief of staff summoned to testify in impeachment probe

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and Senior White House Adviser Stephen Miller disembark from Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. (Reuters)
Updated 06 November 2019

Trump chief of staff summoned to testify in impeachment probe

  • Mick Mulvaney is the latest administration official to be ordered to testify with the impeachment probe closing in around those nearest the president
  • Mulvaney is the highest-ranking White House official to be summoned in the probe, although he is unlikely to comply

WASHINGTON: US House impeachment investigators on Tuesday summoned President Donald Trump’s acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney for a deposition, saying he has “substantial first-hand knowledge” of Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine.
Mulvaney is the latest administration official to be ordered to testify with the impeachment probe closing in around those nearest the president as it proceeds into a new public phase, in which transcripts of closed-door testimony are being released.
Mulvaney is the highest-ranking White House official to be summoned in the probe, although he is unlikely to comply given the White House’s opposition to administration officials cooperating with investigators.
The chairs of the three House committees leading the investigation wrote Mulvaney requesting he appear before the panels on Friday at 9:00 am.
“The investigation has revealed that you may have been directly involved in an effort orchestrated by President Trump, his personal agent, Rudolph Giuliani and others to withhold a coveted White House meeting and nearly $400 million in security assistance in order to pressure (Ukraine) to pursue investigations that would benefit President Trump’s personal political interests,” they wrote.
“Your failure or refusal to appear at the deposition, including at the direction or behest of the president, shall constitute further evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the President.”
Last month, Mulvaney publicly stated that the decision to freeze aid was tied to the demand for investigations. He later walked back those comments.
Several current and former officials have defied House subpoenas or voluntary requests to testify.
John Eisenberg, a White House lawyer suspected of involvement in the Ukraine scandal, and Robert Blair, assistant to the president and senior adviser to Mulvaney, were among four officials who ignored calls to testify Monday.
The no-shows continued Tuesday when Wells Griffith, a White House adviser on energy, failed to appear.


UK opposition chief Corbyn apologizes for Labour’s worst election debacle

Updated 15 December 2019

UK opposition chief Corbyn apologizes for Labour’s worst election debacle

  • But veteran socialist defended his far-left campaign platform and gave no clear indication of when he might step down
  • Labour’s campaign was dogged by voter doubts about its vague position on Brexit

LONDON: Britain’s main opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn apologized to supporters on Sunday for overseeing his Labour party’s worst election defeat since before World War II.
But the veteran socialist defended his far-left campaign platform and gave no clear indication of when he might step down.
“I will make no bones about it. The election result on Thursday was a body blow for everyone who so desperately needs real change in our country,” Corbyn wrote in the Sunday Mirror newspaper.
“I wanted to unite the country that I love but I’m sorry that we came up short and I take my responsibility for it.”
Thursday’s snap general election handed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives a mandate to take Britain out of the European Union at the end of next month.
Corbyn said on Friday that he would step down at some point early next year.
But the century-old party has no clear successor and is being riven by infighting within its senior ranks.
Labour’s campaign was dogged by voter doubts about its vague position on Brexit and allegations of anti-Semitism within the party’s senior ranks.
Corbyn tried to shift the campaign’s focus on bread-and-butter social issues traditionally important to Labour voters.
“But despite our best efforts, this election was ultimately about Brexit,” Corbyn admitted in his letter.
“The Tory campaign, amplified by most of the media, managed to persuade many that only Boris Johnson could ‘get Brexit done’,” he said in reference to Johnson’s campaign slogan.
“We will learn the lessons of this defeat, above all by listening to those lifelong Labour voters who we’ve lost in working class communities.”