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Photo: Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons license 2.0

Mick Mulvaney, COME ON DOWN! It's your time to shine, baby! And by "shine" we mean wind up under the klieg lights as a central figure in the impeachment hearings for all the dirty, dirty deeds you did when you were "letting Trump be Trump." Would it be looksist for Wonkette to suggest that the (acting) chief of staff spend some time exfoliating and moisturizing before appearing on television in HD? Because, umm, that guy looks like a walking bowl of Frosted Flakes.

But even more than a good loofah, Mick Mulvaney needs a good lawyer -- i.e., not some Fox flunky. Because he's in deep, deep shit. As House Democrats dig into the impeachment investigation, they're finding Mulvaney's grubby fingerprints (and telltale dandruff) all over it. Because he's a jack of all trades, who coordinated the State Department's Ukraine policy while wearing his (acting) COS hat, and then slipped on his Director of the Office of Management and Budget hat to put a hold on the funds allocated by Congress for Ukrainian defense until President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to play ball and investigate Trump's political rivals.


On Monday, Fiona Hill testified that John Bolton told her to report the ongoing Ukraine fuckery up the chain of command, making sure to say that, "I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up." Yesterday, George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of State for Ukraine, laid out further details of Sondland and Mulvaney's "drug deal."

The Washington Post reports that Kent testified that Mulvaney summoned him to a meeting on May 23 and stripped him of the Ukraine portfolio, instructing him to "lay low" while the "three amigos" managed the relationship. The "three amigos" would be EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. The very people working with the president's personal "lawyer" to coerce Ukraine to gin up a fake investigation of Joe Biden and swap out the board of the state-owned natural gas company for their cronies. What a coincidence!

Under COS John Kelly, who was at least a competent villain, White House staff tried to bar the Oval Office door to the conspiracy ghouls. But Mulvaney is a sniveling toady, so he just allowed Giuliani to waltz in and vomit his Ukraine lies in Trump's ear. Worse still, the Post reports, Mulvaney worked directly with Sondland to enact Rudy's plan to withhold an Oval Office meeting until Ukraine agreed to investigate the 2016 election and Burisma. And when NSA John Bolton, who is a terrible person but not a goddamn idiot, objected, Mulvaney made sure that Sondland could get around him to speak directly to Trump about Ukraine.

Just look at this dumbfuck thinking he was HELPING by letting Trump wild out on that fateful July 25 phone call reported by the Post:

Bolton, already troubled by the administration's interactions with Ukraine, insisted that he alone handle the pre-call briefing with the president. But Sondland, who as U.S. ambassador to the European Union is based in Brussels, demanded that he also participate in the prep session.

Mulvaney backed Sondland, urging that he be allowed on the call, according to a White House official. When Bolton refused, Mulvaney appears to have again found a way to bypass the national security adviser. Bolton proceeded to brief the president solo, but then Sondland was patched through on a separate call.

In a July 26 interview on an English-language Ukranian television program, Sondland said he "actually spoke with President Trump just a few minutes before he placed the call."

Well played, Mick! That seems to have worked out great. And let's have an extra round of applause for Sondland, who is now claiming that he had NO IDEA Burisma meant "Biden," making sure to go on the teevee and claim credit for a call where Trump mentioned him explicitly six times.

But worst of all for Mulvaney, he's the one who authorized the hold on the funds for Ukraine from his position as head of the Office of Management and Budget, instructing them to tell lawmakers that the money was delayed as part of an "interagency process" in a deliberate attempt to obscure the fact that Trump himself had ordered it. Lawyers for the Pentagon said the hold was illegal, a view shared by some members of the White House, but Mulvaney blithely overruled them. The Post reports, "Mulvaney told staff that he had determined that the money could be turned on and off with no legal consequence." Guess he's (acting) counsel for the Defense Department now, too!

The OMB has recently defied a congressional subpoena for documents, as has the State Department. And yet, current and former State Department employees have shown up to testify every single day this week, unwilling to defy Congress and risk jail or fines to cover up for the administration. Kurt Volker apparently came back today for a second round of questioning.

So Ol' Flakey has to be asking himself right now what he can do to stop OMB staff from spilling the tea on Capitol Hill when those subpoenas start dropping. Was he a decent boss who can expect loyalty from his OMB staff? Did he join in the Secret Santa pool? Did he treat his employees like professionals deserving of respect? Or did he spend the past two years inveighing against the Deep State and trying to cut OMB's budget?

LOL, it is that one. Good luck Mick! And don't forget to moisturize.

[WaPo / WaPo, again]

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