Budget official says he didn't know why military aid was delayed: report

White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) official Mark Sandy, who testified in the impeachment inquiry Saturday, told congressional investigators that he did not know why aid to Ukraine was held up, The New York Times reported, citing two sources. 

Sandy also said he had never come across a similar situation in his time with the OMB, the two people familiar with his testimony told the Times. 

Sandy testified Saturday in the impeachment probe into President TrumpDonald John TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg's activism: Study economics and then 'come back' to us The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial MORE after he was subpoenaed by House Democrats, making him the latest official to defy the White House and appear before Congressional investigators. He is the first budget official to testify. 


One area House Democrats have been looking into during their impeachment inquiry is the Trump administration's withholding of aid to Ukraine around the time that Trump pushed for the country's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to look into Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial Sanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden MORE.

Some witnesses have testified that the aid was conditioned on investigations or that there was a quid pro quo between Trump and Ukraine's leader. 

Trump has denied these claims and defended withholding aid to Ukraine, saying he wanted other countries to pay more to help Ukraine and expressing concern about possible corruption in the country. 

"It’s looking like Democrats are now desperate to sell any narrative that'll justify what most Americans recognize has been an extreme abuse of Congress' powers," a senior administration official told The Hill in an email Saturday. "At this point, their fishing expedition would probably even find George Washington guilty of treason."

"Everything so far is about the temperature of the room, and that the testimony was 'technical' and didn’t get them what they wanted," the official added of Sandy's testimony. 


Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinMaryland Rep. Raskin endorses Warren ahead of Iowa caucus Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Jayapal endorses Sanders Sanders, Warren battle for progressive endorsements MORE (D-Md.) had previously said Saturday that Sandy's testimony was "a technical part of our investigation," according to The Washington Post

“We want to know exactly how the president translated his political objective to shake down the Ukrainian government for the favors he wanted, translated into the budget process,” Raskin said. 

The Times reported that Sandy is a career official and not an appointee of President Trump. He is the deputy associate director of the OMB's national security division.