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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 Trump’s interactions with the country.

House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) and Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (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.{mosads}

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 Biden 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 Mulvaney, and may provide Democrats information pertinent to drafting articles of impeachment against the president as part of their ramped-up investigation.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden John Yarmuth Mick Mulvaney Nita Lowey president trump Ukraine

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