Documents provided to the House Budget Committee reveal that Donald Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine the same day that he talked to President Zelensky.
The Office of Management and Budget’s first official action to withhold $250 million in Pentagon aid to Ukraine came on the evening of July 25, the same day President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on the phone, according to a House Budget Committee summary of the office’s documents.
That withholding letter, which was among documents provided to the committee, was signed by a career OMB official, the summary states. But the next month, OMB political appointee Michael Duffey signed letters taking over the decision to withhold both the Pentagon and State Department aid to Ukraine from the career official.
Trump’s defense has been that the aid was withheld over concerns about “corruption,” but the military aid had already passed the Pentagon’s corruption review, and Trump didn’t block the aid until after he had talked with Zelensky about investigating Joe Biden.
The corruption excuse was a cover story. Trump was trying to extort Ukraine into investigating Biden and the widely debunked Crowdstrike conspiracy theory. The White House’s internal document review found that the administration was scrambling after Trump blocked the aid to Ukraine without legal justification.
The pieces are coming together as each of Trump’s defenses is collapsing under the weight of new facts.