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Pentagon planned to challenge ‘illegal’ hold on Ukraine aid before Trump phone call revealed

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The Pentagon was preparing a legal challenge to the White House scheme to block Ukraine aid in an apparent effort to force an investigation of Joe Biden.

Congress had approved hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the U.S. ally in late 2018 as Ukraine fought against Russian aggression, and Pentagon officials began to worry as the funds unsent just weeks before the appropriation was set to expire Sept. 30, reported Yahoo News.

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Pentagon officials were baffled that the funding hadn’t been sent, even after John Rood, an undersecretary of defense for policy, gave Congress a detailed plan for what weapons and other aid Ukraine could expect from the package.

The Department of Defense conducted a series of interagency meetings starting in mid-July to figure out how the money could be freed up, and the Pentagon conducted a legal analysis of the holds.

That analysis determined the delays were illegal, but the Office of Management and Budget argued the holds were authorized by President Donald Trump — which essentially made them legal.

“This is part of the basis for our investigation and overall impeachment inquiry,” one congressional staffer told Yahoo News.

Pentagon officials were not aware at the time that Trump was planning to use the congressionally approved aid package to pressure Ukraine’s government to investigate the former vice president and his son Hunter Biden.

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A call by Trump to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky discussing that scheme was the subject of a whistleblower complaint which has now turned into an impeachment inquiry.


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Adam Schiff moves to implicate Pence in the Ukraine scandal as Republicans go off the rails

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In the panoply of contradictory and incoherent defenses of Donald Trump, a favorite of Republicans has been to harp on the claim that witnesses to Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine were all "second-hand" or "third-hand." This has always been confounding, as the official summary readout of the famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump clearly conditioning military aid and U.S. support on Zelensky giving a public boost to Trump's conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders. The witnesses so far have simply affirmed what the written record demonstrates amply.

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Why saying ‘OK boomer’ at work is considered age discrimination – but millennial put-downs aren’t

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The phrase “OK boomer” has become a catch-all put-down that Generation Zers and young millennials have been using to dismiss retrograde arguments made by baby boomers, the generation of Americans who are currently 55 to 73 years old.

Though it originated online and primarily is fueling memes, Twitter feuds and a flurry of commentary, it has begun migrating to real life. Earlier this month, a New Zealand lawmaker lobbed the insult at an older legislator who had dismissed her argument about climate change.

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Republicans are getting scared about Gordon Sondland’s Wednesday impeachment testimony: report

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Ambassador Gordon Sondland may be the most dangerous witness for President Donald Trump in the impeachment hearings so far, and that's in part because he has a lot to lose.

And according to CNN's Shimon Prokuecz, his scheduled testimony for Wednesday morning is making Republicans nervous:

Multiple GOP sources say they are most worried about what Gordon Sondland will do tomorrow - and whether he will turn on the President. The fear, Republicans say, is that he could undercut the last GOP defense. @mkraju

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