New Docs Show That White House Froze Ukraine Aid Two Hours After Zelensky Call

President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meet in New York on September 25, 2019 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
|
December 21, 2019 2:51 p.m.

According to newly released documents, the White House moved to freeze military aid to Ukraine less than two hours after President Donald Trump’s July 25th call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The documents were obtained with a FOIA request by the Center for Public Integrity and published Friday night. 

“Based on guidance I have received and in light of the Administration’s plan to review assistance to Ukraine, including the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, please hold off on any additional DoD obligations of these funds, pending direction from that process,” Mike Duffey, an Office of Management and Budget official, wrote in a July 25 email to OMB and Pentagon officials. “Given the sensitive nature of the request, I appreciate your keeping that information closely held to those who need to know to execute direction.”

On September 11, Duffey wrote another email informing Department of Defense Comptroller Elaine McCusker that the aid would be released. He said that he was “glad to have this behind us.”

The documents add more clarity to the timeline of the Ukraine pressure campaign and to events specifically occurring around the July 25 call, which touched off the whistleblower complaint and eventually, entire impeachment inquiry. Trump has continued to insist, despite multiple witness testimonies, that there was no quid pro quo, or exchange of bogus investigations that he pushed for from Zelensky on the call for the $391 million in military aid.

Introducing
The TPM Journalism Fund: A New Way To Support TPM
We're launching the TPM Journalism Fund as an additional way for readers and members to support TPM. Every dollar contributed goes toward:
  • -Hiring More Journalists
  • -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism
Are you experiencing financial hardship?
Apply for a free community-supported membership
Comments
advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer:
SPECIAL DEAL FOR PAST TPM MEMBERS
40% OFF AN ANNUAL PRIME MEMBERSHIP
REJOIN FOR JUST $30