The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump officially decided to freeze the Pentagon aid to Ukraine just 90 minutes after he spoke to President Vladimir Zelensky.
Citing recently released emails, The Times budget official Michael Duffey told the Pentagon to keep quiet about the freeze due to the “sensitive nature of the request.”
Duffey sent an email to the Pentagon comptroller on July 25 that suggested Trump was asking questions about the $250 million in military aid that Congress allocated to Ukraine after reading a Washington Examiner piece about in June.
“The emails add to public understanding of the events that prompted the Democratic-led House to call for Mr. Trump to be removed from office,” said The Times. “On Wednesday, Mr. Trump was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress along a party-line vote after documents and testimony by senior administration officials revealed that he had withheld $391 million in aid to Ukraine at the same time that he asked for investigations from the Ukrainian president that would benefit him politically.”
The Pentagon was court-ordered to release 146 pages of documents to the Center for Public Integrity in late Friday.
“The email raises further questions about the process by which Mr. Trump imposed the hold on the military aid, and the link between the hold and the requests he made of Mr. Zelensky in the telephone call, which prompted concern among national security officials with knowledge of the conversation,” said The Times.
Sen. Chuck Schumer responded to the revelation by reminding the public that Duffey was subpoenaed to testify, but refused.
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