Friday, 3 January 2020

Trump gave 'clear direction' to hold Ukraine aid, says White House official in uncovered documents

Trump gave 'clear direction' to hold Ukraine aid, says White House official in uncovered documentsUnredacted documents obtained by Just Security appear to show the Pentagon was concerned by President Trump's decision to withhold military aid to Ukraine.Defense Department officials worried the move, at the center of Trump's impeachment, would violate requirements that money be spent as allocated by Congress. Trump is accused of leveraging the aid to pressure Ukraine into investigating Democrats for his political benefit. Michael Duffey, associate director of national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget, told Pentagon officials there was "clear direction from POTUS to continue to hold" the aid when asked in August, though no rationale was explained. Later, when the hold was lifted and Duffey was asked why, he said it was "not exactly clear but president made the decision to go."Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the revelations that Trump was apparently directly involved in withholding the aid "further expose the serious concerns raised by Trump administration officials about the propriety and legality of the president's decision to cut off aid to Ukraine to benefit himself." Schumer called for further testimony in a Senate impeachment trial, The Washington Post reports.House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), meanwhile, called the documents "incriminating" and said they "corroborate" testimony from the House impeachment inquiry.> New lengthy statement from @RepAdamSchiff on @just_security reporting on emails from Pentagon to OMB warning Ukraine funding hold might be illegal: "...the House subpoenaed these very documents. From their deeply incriminating character, we can now see why they were concealed" pic.twitter.com/iUJfiOuFLv> > -- Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) January 2, 2020More stories from theweek.com 4 reasons to beware Trump's decision to kill Soleimani United Methodist Church leader calls historic plan to split over same-sex marriage 'a welcome relief' Will Bernie voters vote for Biden when he wins?




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