Documents show Ukraine knew by August that aid was being withheld: NYT

Ukraine knew by the beginning of August that the Trump administration was holding up military aid over President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 MORE's desire for Ukraine's president to open a criminal probe into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Democratic strategist: 'Medicare for All' exposes generational gap within party Yang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations MORE (D), according to documents and interviews obtained by The New York Times

The report in the Times said the documents and interviews indicated that Ukrainian officials were alerted to the existence of the aid freeze by the end of the first week of August.

Trump spoke on July 25 with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about a potential investigation of Biden as well as the aid package. The White House has released a reconstructed transcript of that call, which House Democrats have used to build momentum for an impeachment inquiry against Trump.


The communications between U.S. and Ukrainian officials uncovered by the Times do not show a direct reference to Trump's request for an investigation of Biden.

The interviews and documents do show, the Times reported, that the administration asked Ukraine to bring a senior aide to Zelensky who spoke with Trump's lawyer, Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiTrump denies report that he still uses personal cell phone for calls Giuliani draws attention with latest trip to Ukraine White House, OMB say no calls between Giuliani and budget office MORE, about the potential investigation, to the negotiations over the aid.

The Times report comes as Trump and his allies have argued that Ukraine only learned that the military aid had been held up in the media. Trump said this showed that there was no quid pro quo between the delivery of the aid and politically-charged investigations.

The Times report also echoes a a claim made by the anonymous whistleblower who filed a complaint with the intelligence community's inspector general about Trump's call with Zelensky.

“As of early August, I heard from U.S. officials that some Ukrainian officials were aware that U.S. aid might be in jeopardy, but I do not know how or when they learned of it,” the whistleblower complaint read.

Trump in a tweet on Wednesday quoted Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeTrump, first lady take part in National Christmas Tree lighting Lawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing House Republicans on Judiciary strategize ahead of Wednesday's impeachment hearing MORE (R-Texas), who insinuated on "Fox and Friends" that Ukrainian officials were not aware that aid was ever tied to an investigation of Biden, currently a front-runner for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

"'Neither he (Taylor) or any other witness has provided testimony that the Ukrainians were aware that military aid was being withheld. You can’t have a quid pro quo with no quo.' Congressman John Ratcliffe @foxandfriends Where is the Whistleblower? The Do Nothing Dems case is DEAD!" Trump tweeted.