In Mulvaney's office, White House attorney Pat Cipollone is accused of not doing more to prevent other government officials from attending the impeachment investigation, as a number of State Department officials, diplomats, and an adviser to Vice President Pence Witness statements have been made by Congress.
Cipollone, meanwhile, has become angry that Mulvaney only made the situation worse with his press conference on October 1
7 when he publicly acknowledged a return and essentially confirmed the Democrats' accusations in front of television cameras and reporters. Cipollone did not want Mulvaney to hold the press conference, a message that, according to two senior Trump consultants who spoke on condition of anonymity, was forwarded to the acting chief of staff. An adviser to Mulvaney said a team of White House lawyers had prepared him for the press conference and never told him not to.
Neither Mulvaney nor Cipollone have extensive experience in dealing with a White House at such a turbulent time. But their actions have helped the White House respond more and more timidly to the impeachment investigation, which will begin public hearings on Wednesday in the House. Despite the high level of commitment, the White House was slow to hire staff to deal specifically with the question of impeachment. This concern has been expressed to the White House by several GOP senators, Hill Aides said.
"This will be the toughest political struggle this White House has faced. They need to be sure that they are fully concentrated and that their entire fire is outward – not conflicting, "said Michael Steel, a GOP strategist who tops former House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) Consultant stood by).
On Friday, on the day he petitioned against a summons from Congress, Mulvaney attempted to join a lawsuit on separation of powers that a former member of the former National Security v. Trump and the leadership of the House of Representatives raised counselors John Bolton. The move has infuriated Bolton's allies, partly because Bolton and other national security workers considered Mulvaney a key architect who put pressure on Ukraine to initiate political investigations on behalf of Trump, the people familiar with the matter said. The lawsuit could have been a legal basis for Mulvaney's refusal to testify in the impeachment investigation, but late Monday he withdrew the testimony that he would file his own lawsuit asking the courts to decide if high-ranking officials of the Trump administration in the impeachment investigation.
] OMB served as Mulvaney's biggest bulwark, as this agency has played a key role in blocking US $ 400 million in security personnel for the summer. OMB is led by a close ally of Mulvaney, acting director Russell T. Vought, who has refused to participate in the impeachment investigation, as well as other agency agency officials. But OMB's increasingly political nature has upset a number of senior career workers, and some resigned last year, including one who announced his retirement in the midst of this summer's turmoil.
Employees at the usually -the-radar budget agency watched with dismay as OMB political leaders took the most unusual step of overcoming the concerns of career workers in order to stop Ukrainian military aid, several former agency officials say. Keep in touch with the current staff and talk about it The condition of anonymity to protect the employees.
"Everyone went crazy because it violated OMB's standards," said a former longtime employee who talked about private conversation on the condition of anonymity. The impeachment investigation threatens to seduce career workers at OMB, one of whom, Mark Sandy, was called to testify but did not appear. A number of State Department and national security witnesses told impeachment investigators that the aid was suspended in return for causing Ukraine to initiate investigations, including Trump's democratic rival Joe Biden. However, OMB staff could provide important details
The White House denied the existence of internal tensions.
"We are a team and work well together. The Intrigue stories of the palace are wrong and they must stop, "White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in an email.
But Trump has been complaining to White House officials and advisors over the past few weeks about his legal team, saying that this is necessary to be more aggressive and defend him more. Cipollone published a letter from Trump stating that the White House would not cooperate in the impeachment investigation. However, a high-ranking government official said Cipollone has not done more to keep its members up to date.
"Those who joined the President and followed the instinct of the President not to cooperate were successful and this firewall," said this official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity over internal consultations. Cipollone, said this person, "was pretty weak in making sure people were barred."
At the same time, Trump complained about Mulvaney, accusing him of his political problems and playing with the idea of replacing him. two officials said.
Another dispute between the camps Mulvaney and Cipollone arose over the possible attitude of former deputy Trey Gowdy (RS.C.) as part of Trump's team, which defended itself against impeachment. Trump was looking for outspoken followers, and Mulvaney was in favor of hiring his former house mate and longtime friend Gowdy, a former prosecutor who became Fox News.
But Cipollone was against it. And finally, the Gowdy boom collapsed within a few days of last month when White House officials said the federal lobby rules might prevent him from starting in January.
Some Hill Republicans were not pleased and accused Cipollone of being territorial behind the scenes. They wanted Gowdy, who led the GOP investigation into Benghazi's terrorist attack on the US Consulate in Libya, to head Trump's cross-examination in the Senate – a role Cipollone wants for himself.
"Everyone wants to be responsible for the impeachment," a Senate GOP adjutant said about the fight between Mulvaney and Cipollone. "Cipollone seems more likely to protect his lawn than anything else … He does not want competition." The adjutant spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private concerns freely.
Some government officials complain that Cipollone Mulvaney and other White House offices have not kept up with important decisions. Cipollone's office published the minutes of the President's call on July 25 with his Ukrainian counterpart – a move Mulvaney spoke against, government officials said. Neither the incumbent Chief of Staff nor some members of the White House Press Office knew in advance that this would happen, officials said.
The tensions between the two camps were sparked when Mulvaney sent a statement to the White House on October 17, appearing to recognize that the president was trying to withhold US aid to Ukraine as part of a consideration. Mulvaney said that the government did not release security support for the country because the president wanted Ukraine to agree to an investigation into corruption first, and a denied theory that evidence of Russia's involvement in the 2016 elections had been produced. Later, Mulvaney issued a statement stressing that he had not provided anything in return and that the reporters had misinterpreted his televised words.
The divisions within the administration, at a time when there should be a united front against the House Democrats, are serious enough that they have caught the attention of Senate Republicans, who are concerned that the administration is not adequately attuned to in January, the impeachment procedure in the Senate is prepared. It is expected that Parliament will initiate impeachment proceedings against Trump in December and trigger a trial in the Senate.
"This impeachment will take place before the White House knows it and they are not even remotely prepared for it," said the Senate GOP Advisor. "What they desperately need is leadership to get ready, but until Mulvaney and Cipollone set aside their little quarrels and work together, they only have tweets."
This adjutant said the GOP senators were concerned about the White House Several senators drew the attention of the White House to this concern, said the adjutant. These concerns were finally resolved last week, with the news that former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi and a former finance spokesman Tony Sayegh would join the administration to work on impeachment and other issues ,
"I think Pam Bondi will be very helpful," said Senator Lindsey Graham (RSC), adding that the Senate is unlikely to prosecute the president. "It's better now, I think. Pam will do a good job. They still have to train some of their lawyers. "