Is this the smoking gun Democrats have been missing in Ukraine-Gate? A newly published e-mail shows that a senior OMB official issued a directive two hours after Donald Trump spoke to Volodymyr Zelensky to put a hold on congressionally authorized lethal aid to Ukraine. The timing of this e-mail suggests that Trump saw his mention of the Bidens and Crowdstrike as quids pro quo, but that theory still has a couple of holes in it.
However, it’s not nothing either:
An official from the White House budget office directed the Defense Department to “hold off” on sending military aid to Ukraine less than two hours after President Trump’s controversial phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to internal emails.
Michael Duffey, a senior budget official, told Pentagon officials that Trump had become personally interested in the Ukraine aid and had ordered the hold, according to the heavily redacted emails, obtained by the Center for Public Integrity on Friday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. He also asked the Pentagon not to discuss the hold widely.
“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,” Duffey wrote in a July 25 email to Pentagon Comptroller Elaine McCusker and others.