Acting WH Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is expected to quit after Trump's Senate impeachment trial.
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is widely expected to leave his current position once the Senate wraps up its impeachment trial and the intense scrutiny of the West Wing settles down, according to five aides and confidants to President Donald Trump.
Trump allies and White House aides, who have been nudging the president in recent weeks to find a new leader for the team as it delves into a crucial reelection campaign, have been circulating lists of potential replacements for weeks.
Mulvaney no longer wields much control over White House staff. Lately, he has been left out of major personnel and policy decisions, and he is not driving the strategy on impeachment even though he occupies what is historically the most powerful job in the West Wing.
“He is there. I’ll leave it at that,” said a Republican close to the White House when asked about Mulvaney’s status. “He’s like a kid. His role at the dinner table is to be seen and not heard.”
The news Thursday that Republican Rep. Mark Meadows would not seek reelection and would instead work in some capacity for the president was interpreted throughout the White House and Trump world as Meadows morphing into Trump’s chief of staff in waiting — ready to assume the position in a second term if Trump wins reelection. Meadows has been spotted around the West Wing in recent weeks and has been one of Trump’s key advisers throughout the House impeachment process. He is also close to Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and one of his most trusted advisers, whom the outgoing congressman often speaks with multiple times per week.
A spokesman for Meadows declined to comment. The White House press office did not respond to a request for comment.
So continuing the thread from yesterday, Mulvaney's number is pretty much up and Mark Meadows will take over.
"Got my president impeached" doesn't exactly look great on your resume, but Mulvaney has basically been a ghost since his disastrous September presser all but assured Trump was going to get impeached.
Mulvaney basically admitted on national television that Trump's Ukraine call on July 25 was a messy quid pro quo, and that opened the door to everything that followed. He couldn't be fired during the impeachment process because he'd have been forced to testify in the House proceedings. She still should be, but that's a fight for a different day.
Besides, "after the Senate trial" might be a while. The White House is now arguing because Pelosi hasn't named impeachment managers and sent the articles to the Senate, impeachment never actually happened so it should be ignored.
The White House is considering making the argument that President Trump has not officially been impeached, given that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not transmitted the articles of impeachment to the Senate, two sources involved in the president's impeachment defense told CBS News.
The House voted to impeach Mr. Trump on two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — on Wednesday. However, Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that the House would wait to deliver the articles until the Senate had laid out the rules for the trial.
"When we see the process that's set forth in the Senate, then we'll know the number of managers we'll have to move forward, and who we would choose," the California Democrat said. The House must vote on a resolution designating impeachment managers to prosecute the case against Mr. Trump in the Senate before delivering the articles.
The White House is considering making the case that Mr. Trump has not been impeached based on an opinion piece by Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman on Bloomberg's opinion page Thursday. Feldman was one of the legal experts called by Democrats to testify before the House Judiciary Committee earlier this month and has advocated for Mr. Trump's impeachment and removal from office.
"Impeachment as contemplated by the Constitution does not consist merely of the vote by the House, but of the process of sending the articles to the Senate for trial," Feldman wrote in Bloomberg. "Both parts are necessary to make an impeachment under the Constitution: The House must actually send the articles and send managers to the Senate to prosecute the impeachment. And the Senate must actually hold a trial."
"If the House does not communicate its impeachment to the Senate, it hasn't actually impeached the president. If the articles are not transmitted, Trump could legitimately say that he wasn't truly impeached at all," Feldman wrote.
However, Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe wrote on Twitter that he disagreed with Feldman's analysis, saying that "under Art. I, Sec. 2, Clause 5, he was impeached on Dec 18, 2019. He will forever remain impeached. Period." That portion of the Constitution says that the House of Representatives "shall have the sole Power of Impeachment."
Tribe is correct, but expect the White House to argue that Trump was never impeached until his base believes it, with the goal of de-legitimizing the process to the point that the Senate can simply dispose of it with a simple majority vote. If the Senate chooses to do that before Pelosi send the articles over, well then, it's Constitutional Crisis number 14 or 15 of the Trump era.