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Unredacted Emails Show Pentagon Believed Trump Was Breaking The Law When Withholding Aid From Ukraine

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The main focus point behind the impeachment of Donald Trump was his decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine until the country decided to investigate his political opponents. Republicans argue that Trump did eventually give Ukraine the money without an investigation being held. The problem is that Trump did not hand over the money until after he was caught attempting to withhold it in the first place.

Now, Just Security has examined unredacted emails that show officials within the Pentagon viewed Trump’s Ukraine aid hold with increasing alarm and were concerned that the president was breaking the law.

According to the emails, Elaine McCusker, the acting Pentagon comptroller, argued that the White House would be breaching the Impoundment Control Act if it did not send Congress a notification that it was withholding the aid.

One of the key emails came on August 26th last year, when McCusker asked Michael Duffey, associate director of national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget, for a status update on the paperwork that needed to be filed to keep the administration’s hold legal.

“What is the status of the impoundment paperwork?” McCusker asked him.

“I am not tracking that. Is that something you are expecting from OMB?” Duffey replied.

“Yes, it is now necessary — legal teams were discussing last week,” she replied.

According to the report, an email sent the next day showed that McCusker accused OMB legal officials of being willfully blind to the legal concerns she was raising about the hold.

“This situation is… made particularly difficult because OMB lawyers continue to consistently mischaracterize the process — and the information we have provided,” she wrote. “They keep repeating that this pause will not impact DOD’s ability to execute on time.”

You can read the entire report HERE.

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