Mulvaney’s office blames White House counsel Pat Cipollone for not doing more to stop other government officials from participating in the impeachment inquiry, as a number of State Department officials, diplomats and an aide to Vice President Pence have given sworn testimony to Congress.
Cipollone, meanwhile, has fumed that Mulvaney only made matters worse with his Oct. 17 news conference, when he publicly acknowledged a quid pro quo, essentially confirming Democrats’ accusations in front of television cameras and reporters. Cipollone did not want Mulvaney to hold the news conference, a message that was passed along to the acting chief of staff’s office, according to two senior Trump advisers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. A Mulvaney aide said a team of White House lawyers prepared him for the news conference and never said he should not do it…
Employees at the normally under-the-radar budget agency watched in dismay as political appointees at the OMB took the highly unusual step of overruling the concerns of career staffers to hold up the Ukraine military aid, according to multiple former agency officials who remain in touch with current employees and spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect career staffers.
“Everyone was freaked out because it so violated the norms of OMB,” said one former longtime career employee, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.