House Democrats demand White House turn over docs on Ukraine aid

The chairs of two House panels are demanding that the White House turn over documents and information about military aid withheld from Ukraine amid scrutiny over President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE's interactions with the country.

House Budget Committee Chairman John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthBlue Dogs push Democrats to pass budget Democrats don't expect to do 2020 budget Trump shocks, earns GOP rebukes with Dingell remarks MORE (D-Ky.) and Appropriations Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyMixed feelings on war power limits: Lawmakers and vet candidates US officials, world leaders arrive in Israel for World Holocaust Forum  House revives agenda after impeachment storm MORE (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Friday demanding information about the efforts.

Yarmuth and Lowey wrote that the decision to hold up congressionally approved funds over the summer represented a potential "abuse of authority" by the president on apportioning money, suggesting the move may have violated the Impoundment Control Act of 1974.


Trump's decision to temporarily withhold $400 million in security assistance from Ukraine before asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSchiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Conservative reporter on Sanders: He's not a 'yes man' Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment MORE in a July 25 phone call is at the heart of mounting scrutiny that has bolstered calls for impeachment.

The president confirmed earlier this week that he held up the funds from Ukraine but argued he did so because he wanted European countries to contribute more for the cause. Democrats, meanwhile, have raised alarms about the move coming as Trump and his allies pushed Ukraine to investigate Biden.

In their letter Friday, the Democratic chairs demanded that the White House turn over information and documents by Oct. 1 showing when the funds were held up and provide further documentation by Oct. 11 about what agencies were involved in the process.

The hold put on the aid, they said, fueled concerns "that OMB took the unusual and seemingly unprecedented step of delegating the authority to execute these apportionments to a political appointee, in lieu of career civil servants who have historically been the designated officials responsible for overseeing and executing these technical budget documents."

The letter was addressed to acting OMB Directer Russell Vought and acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneySenate Republicans must stand up for the rule of law and ensure a fair, open proceeding Democrats cap impeachment arguments with focus on Trump stonewalling Lindsey Graham will oppose subpoena of Hunter Biden MORE, and may provide Democrats information pertinent to drafting articles of impeachment against the president as part of their ramped-up investigation.