The House impeachment inquiry has Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney scheduled to testify tomorrow, but the media is reporting that Mulvaney doesn’t plan to show up, so tonight the House decided to subpoena Mulvaney. This is something of a formality, as Mulvaney is highly unlikely to show up even with a subpoena, but it still matters.
More than a dozen current and former Trump administration officials have testified to the House impeachment inquiry thus far, and by all accounts, every bit of the testimony has been bad for Donald Trump. The House doesn’t need the testimony of someone like Mick Mulvaney in order to make its case to the American people. Mulvaney can’t really testify anyway, because he’s facing so much legal exposure here, he’d be providing evidence against himself for his own eventual conviction after Trump is gone.
Because Mulvaney is formally refusing to show up even under threat of subpoena, it means he’s waived any opportunity to tell his side of the story or defend himself. That means the House can essentially use Mulvaney’s prior public confession as his full statement. You’d better believe that Mulvaney’s confession, as well as his subsequent refusal to come in and explain himself, will play a key role in the narrative that House Democrats present during next week’s televised impeachment hearings.
So even though Mick Mulvaney won’t show up on Friday, it still matters that he got his bell rung tonight with a subpoena. He was just given his chance to come in from the cold and try to explain his way out of this. He’s apparently taking a pass. So be it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report