House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) released a batch of transcripts including testimony that Trump directed the Ukraine plot.
Schiff said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA:
Mr. Sandy confirmed that he was told by the office of Mick Mulvaney, the Acting White House Chief of Staff, that the President himself had directed the hold on security assistance to Ukraine. However, he was provided no other reason or justification for the hold when he was directed to implement it. And in fact, after he raised concerns with OMB leadership and lawyers that the withholding of funding for Ukraine may violate the law, his authority for approving security assistance funding was revoked and given instead to a hand-picked Trump OMB political appointee.
Finally, we learned from Mr. Sandy that he was first informed in early September—approximately two months after the hold was implemented—that the reason for the hold was due to concerns regarding European countries not paying their fair share of foreign assistance. Given other testimony and the public admission by Mr. Mulvaney that the aid was held to pressure Ukraine to conduct the investigations desired by the President, this constitutes powerful evidence that this justification was concocted as an after-the-fact rationalization to justify the hold.
Q: So this July 12th email from Mr. Blair, what did it say?
A: To the best of my recollection, that the President is directing a hold on military support funding for Ukraine.
Q: What else was in that email?
A: Nothing that I recall.
Q: Was any other country mentioned?
Q: Any other security assistance package?
Q: Any other aid of any sort?
A: Not to my recollection.
Q: Any other topic at all in this email?
Q: Who did Mr. Blair send this email to?
A: Mr. Duffey.
Trump made the decision on his own to withhold military aid from Ukraine, without any legal justification. The White House scrambled to come up with a justification after Trump’s decision. The hold was placed on the aid after Trump’s call with Zelensky where he tried to extort the new Ukrainian president into investigating Joe Biden.
Those are the facts, and now we can add Mark Sandy’s testimony that Donald Trump was directing the plot.
Many Americans may be preoccupied with Thanksgiving, but Adam Schiff dropped some powerful evidence on Donald Trump.