Pentagon Documents Released Show Trump Personally Ordered Ukraine Military Aid Freeze
The Pentagon released further documentation on Friday which indicated that President Donald Trump illegally ordered the Pentagon, under the direction of the U.S. White House Budget office, to suspend military assistance to Ukraine after the Trump-Zelensky call in July 2019.
Emails from the Pentagon stating that the Ukrainian military fund block had been illegal prompted the release of related documents and emails. Upon learning that the hold had been unlawful, a senior White House official made it clear that the decision to withhold the aid came directly from Trump.
The decision to withhold the allocation of assistance came at the “clear direction” of Trump, Michael Duffey, the Associate Director of National Security Programs, stated in an Aug. 30 email. Duffey also told the Pentagon not to mention the freeze because of the “sensitive nature of the request,” according to a July 25 document.
In an email to the Pentagon comptroller, Duffey indicated that Trump’s idea to freeze the accounts originated when he began to examine the allocation of $250 million. Trump’s move came after he encountered an article regarding the matter in the Washington Examiner on Jun. 19.
The documents are part of the formal investigation launched to investigate further impeachment charges.
Sen. Chuck Schumer has pressured Duffey to testify in the Senate trial.
This email from Michael Duffey—approximately 90 minutes after President Trump’s call with the president of Ukraine—is all the more reason why we need Duffey and others to testify in a Senate trial.
The “sensitive nature”? What is that about? pic.twitter.com/P6kNKEfIOV
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 21, 2019
The 146 pages, which were released late Friday under the Freedom of Information Act to the Center for Public Integrity, open up the potential for additional impeachment charges and offer anecdotal evidence to supporting impeachment allegations.
The other case documents, which included emails from the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget, were sent to the House after a court order last month, in a redacted fashion. The documents offered a detailed account of the tensions faced between the opposing forces – the Pentagon and Trump Administration who had different opinions over what to do.
Despite the coincidental timing of Duffey’s email and other supporting evidence in the 146 pages of documents, White House officials testified that the freeze on the aid was announced at a meeting on July 18, before the Trump-Zelensky telephone call took place.
Other officials and White House staff have testified that they were aware of Trump’s plan to freeze military aid as early as the beginning of July.
The House impeached Trump last month for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The Congressional impeachment hearings had revolved around the July 25 Trump-Zelensky call, in which the President blocked Ukrainian military assistance to manipulate the Ukrainian President into launching an investigation on his political opponent and 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
Fellow White House former adviser, Fiona Hill, explained that Russia had scapegoated Ukraine and planted this dangerous conspiracy theory to destabilize the United States. She is the co-author of a 500-page book that analyzes the psyche of Russian President Vladimir Putin. She also explained that the Russian government operates like a super PAC and that it would do anything to undermine and bring political instability to the United States.