Officials have fought against Trump's Ukraine aid freeze, emails say

“We didn’t know in which direction to take this. Do you have an idea here? Mr. Duffey wrote. The files contain no response from Mr. Bl...

“We didn’t know in which direction to take this. Do you have an idea here? Mr. Duffey wrote.

The files contain no response from Mr. Blair. In addition, the federal judge who ordered the publication of most of the emails sought by The Times, Amy Berman Jackson of the Washington District Federal Court, ruled that some were exempt from disclosure because they contained privileged communications involving Mr. Trump himself.

But on July 17, Mr Duffey wrote to Mr Blair again, saying officials at the Pentagon, State Department and National Security Council wanted to know whether the freeze was limited to murderous support or applied to all security assistance – and questioning its rationale.

Officials were asking, he wrote, “if there is any glimpse of the motive or the duration, as an intention to capitalize on an upcoming engagement with the Ukrainian leadership.” I understand that there may be some sensitivity behind a lot of this, but I was committed to seeing if I could get any information beyond the simple directive for a freeze. “

Mr Blair replied curtly: “Regarding aid to Ukraine, the president wants all security aid to be frozen. We have to let that take hold and understand the implications of the freeze, and then see if he wants to revisit this decision. “

It was a week later, on July 25, 2019, that Mr. Trump had a phone call with Mr. Zelensky that became a central part of the impeachment. According to a White House summary, after discussing military aid, Mr. Trump turned to the inquiries he wanted, saying: “I would like you to do us a favor, however. “

Mr. Blair and Mr. Duffey continued to correspond about the freeze, according to the documents. One of the topics scheduled for a July 26 meeting was the “potential legal issue” of whether Mr. Trump’s withholding of funds would violate the Law on the control of pounds since the money had been allocated by Congress.

Faced with growing scrutiny, Mr. Trump finally lifted the grip in September 2019, but events were already rushing towards impeachment. Amid mounting fury, The Times demanded disclosure of emails between Mr. Blair and Mr. Duffey; while the White House is generally exempt from requests under the Open Files Act, the Office of Management and Budget is covered by it.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Officials have fought against Trump's Ukraine aid freeze, emails say
Officials have fought against Trump's Ukraine aid freeze, emails say
Newsrust - US Top News
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