Republican Mick Mulvaney, who once served as former President Donald Trump's acting White House Chief of Staff, says Republicans should watch the ongoing hearings into the January 6 insurrection because the witnesses who've testified, many of them prominent Republicans themselves, spoke candidly and credibly about efforts within their own party to overturn the 2020 general election results.
In an OpEd for The Charlotte Observer, Mulvaney said that when Republicans "start testifying under oath that other Republicans lost the 2020 election and then broke the law to try to change that, Republicans should pay attention."
While Mulvaney acknowledged and sympathized with Republicans who've blasted the hearings as “a made-for-TV show trial," he said "they still should be paying attention," adding:
"That is because, despite all of the flaws in the structure of the heavily Democrat committee, almost all of the evidence presented so far is coming from eminently credible sources: Republicans."
Mulvaney pointed to recent testimony from Trump's former Attorney General William Barr, whom he noted "swears, under oath, that he investigated almost every allegation of voter fraud — including those in the 2000 Mules movie — and found them to be completely worthless."
He also cited testimony from Rusty Bowers, the Republican Speaker of the House in Arizona. Mulvaney notes that Bowers "campaigned for Trump and voted for him twice" yet still "swears, under oath, that Rudy Giuliani tried to cajole him into intervening in the electoral count in Arizona."
Lastly, he mentioned Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, stressing that Republicans should "pay attention" to her testimony because she "swears, under oath, that she was told that the president knew some of the Jan. 6 protesters were armed, that Meadows was in direct communication with the Proud Boys, and that Meadows and Giuliani asked President Trump for pardons."
Writing of the witnesses, Mulvaney goes on to say that:
"Yes, it is possible that all of those life-long Republicans succumbed to Trump Derangement Syndrome. It is possible they decided to ignore a life-long political affiliation. It is also possible they chose to perjure themselves about what they saw, heard and know."
"But if they didn’t, and half of the country isn’t paying attention, then that half of the country is clinging firmly to an opinion of Jan. 6, 2021 that is based on either false or incomplete information."
"And clinging firmly to a belief based on false or incomplete information can lead to disastrous results. January 6 itself is a stark reminder of that."
"When Republicans start testifying under oath that other Republicans lost the 2020 election and then broke the law to try to change that, Republicans should pay attention."
While many concurred with Mulvaney's assessment, others also criticized him for enabling and supporting Trump for so long
Prior to Trump's election, Mulvaney had characterized him as a "terrible human being," but nonetheless evolved into one of his biggest enablers once taking office in the White House.
Notably, Mulvaney was closely involved in the Trump-Ukraine scandal, which formed the basis of Trump's first impeachment on charges that he'd abused his power and obstructed Congress when he threatened to withhold vital aid to Ukraine if its leadership did not investigate Joe Biden, his political opponent.
Mulvaney was harshly criticized following an October 2019 press conference in which he said that military aid to Ukraine was in fact tied to Trump's demand for an investigation into the 2016 general election, telling the press room to "Get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy.”
He attempted to walk back his statements shortly afterward, stating "there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election."