As I have written previously, internal White House emails obtained late Friday night by the Center for Public Integrity show that someone in budgeting in the White House ordered the Pentagon to put the money congress appropriated to Ukraine on hold, and to keep quiet about it, just 90 minutes after the phone call between Trump and President Zelensky. Per Raw Story: “Given the sensitive nature of the request, I appreciate your keeping that information closely held to those who need to know to execute the direction,” Michael Duffey, a Trump-appointed senior official with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), wrote in a July 25 email to Pentagon Comptroller Elaine McCusker and other Trump administration officials. “The perfect call” doesn’t quite jive with “given the sensitive nature of the request.” Does it? Keeping the information “closely held” to those people who need to know to execute the direction seems to practically shout that they knew they were engaging in something without legal justification, negating any talk about a “perfect call.” Of course they knew they were engaging in “extra-legal” affairs, as stated in the article: As CPI national security editor R. Jeffrey Smith wrote Friday, U.S. law mandates that “once Congress appropriates funds—like the Ukraine assistance—and the president signs the relevant spending bill, the executive branch must spend those funds.” Yeah, the United States is funny that way. If the president could change his mind mid-stream and divy out funds (or not) based on new conditions he personally places upon recipients, that ends the republic, period, and it’s not coming back. I am not exagerating. if such behavior is tolerated, then why even have Congress go through all those wasted motions? The President can just do what he wants at the end of the day anyway. They damned well knew they were not just operating illegally, but against everything this divided government stands for. “A president cannot simply ignore Congress’ direction, no matter how inconvenient or unappealing that instruction might be,” Smith noted. “If funds are withheld or shifted elsewhere, this cannot be done in secret, and Congress must approve.” The moment he does is the moment that Jeffersonian democracy dies. This is why it all mattered, and it didn’t take Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi and Colonel Vindman to convince the people within the Trump administration that it mattered. They knew what they were doing was wrong. You can see it in the emails, you see it in what they were trying to hide. And that, ultimately, is why witnesses from within the White House are needed in this impeachment trial. Now that this email is out, Schumer has something to pound home: “What were they hiding?”….“This email is explosive. A top administration official, one that we’ve requested, is saying ‘stop the aid’ 91 minutes after Trump called Zelensky, and said ‘keep it hush-hush.’ What more do you need to request a witness?” Which, obviously, is a great point that will never be answered because “hiding” is the entire point. “If this is a perfect conversation, if this is [an] OK action, why are they trying to hush it up?” Because the only thing “perfect” in the conversation was the perfect extortion directed at President Zelensky and Ukraine. Trump knows it, Mulvaney knows it, McConnell knows it, the House Republicans might have sensed […]
We continue to hear from Republicans that there is insufficient evidence of the Trump quid pro quo with Zelensky to impeach him. Yet each new revelation consistently builds upon the same story, not one bit of evidence released (in a trickle) ever casts doubt on the original charge. Late Friday, the DOD was forced to turn over emails showing that Trump officially decided to freeze Ukrainian aid just 90 minutes after speaking to President Zelensky. On that fateful day: 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. Notice the cover in there? “After reading a Washington Examiner piece …” There is no possible way that Trump had questions about the aid because of a Washington Examiner article, Trump doesn’t read. “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. “Raises further questions?” Were there ever any questions to raise? Maybe early on, but since then we’ve seen nothing but a drip drip drip of evidence that all points in the same direction. He did it. Surprise! As Mulvaney bragged; “Get over it.” But the revelation becomes more important as it appears to shed light on why Trump continues to hide or withhold testimony from White House officials who have direct knowledge of all that happened. 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 Schumer needs to find a way to catch the country’s attention with this. We need six out of ten Americans furious with the fact that Trump won’t allow testimony from the people “that were there.” We cannot allow Trump to claim “hearsay, hoax, no evidence,” while also continuing to assert executive privilege to block testimony from the people that know the very most, the ones with direct testimony, like Duffy. Schumer should make it a New Year’s resolution to make every American know Duffy’s name, and all those facts to which Duffy could testify. Every interview, on every channel, the Democrats need to continue to pound on each new bit of evidence that finds a crack to the outside. It never controverts or conflicts with the Democrats’ theme. Because, surprise, “He did it.” But we won’t get over it. ***** Peace, y’all Jason firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes people in Washington get it plain wrong!
If conservatives support police killing citizens without justification, climate denial, fact denial, science denial, racist and misogynistic behavior, or a litany of other absurd points of view about numerous important issues, we call them out.