January 04, 2020

White House Refuses to Release 20 Emails About Ukraine Aid Freeze
WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration disclosed on Friday that there were 20 emails between a top aide to President Donald Trump's acting chief of staff and a colleague at the White House's Office of Management and Budget discussing the freeze of a congressionally mandated military aid package for Ukraine.But in response to a court order that it swiftly process those pages in response to a Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, lawsuit filed by The New York Times, the Office of Management and Budget delivered a terse letter saying it would not turn over any of the 40 pages of emails -- not even with redactions."All 20 documents are being withheld in full," wrote Dionne Hardy, the office's Freedom of Information Act officer.The Times' information act request sought email messages between Robert Blair, a top aide to Trump's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, and Michael Duffey, an official in the White House's Office of Management and Budget who was in charge of handling the process for releasing $391 million in weapons and security assistance Congress had appropriated to help Ukraine resist Russian aggression.In her letter, Hardy cited exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act for correspondence involving the president's staff and internal policy deliberations, suggesting that the disclosure of this material would "inhibit the frank and candid exchange of views that is necessary for effective government decision-making."David McCraw, a lawyer for The Times, said the newspaper would challenge the blanket withholding of the documents and would ask the judge overseeing the lawsuit, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, to approve an expedited schedule for briefs and arguments given the urgent public interest in learning more about the dispute.The heart of the accusation against Trump is that he abused his official powers, including withholding a promised White House meeting and congressionally mandated military aid, in an attempt to coerce Ukraine's president into announcing investigations that could deliver personal political benefits to Trump.In October, the Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee had also subpoenaed the Office of Management and Budget for all Ukraine-related documents, but the White House refused to produce them. It also instructed several key current and former officials with inside knowledge of the episode not to testify.Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, has portrayed Blair and Duffey as two of the four key witnesses he believes the Senate should call in Trump's impeachment trial, along with Mulvaney and John Bolton, Trump's former national security adviser. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the majority leader, has expressed opposition to calling witnesses and again criticized the House investigation on Friday.The Trump administration's move to withhold all the emails in full -- not even disclosing the dates they were sent, or the shape of paragraphs covered by black lines -- is a step beyond its heavy censorship of a related set of emails it released in response to another Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the Center for Public Integrity.The documents released to the center consisted of about 300 pages of emails between the Office of Management and Budget and the Pentagon about the Ukraine aid package. While the officially released version was heavily redacted -- and the center is contesting the censorship in further litigation -- the visible portions showed, among other things, that Pentagon officials had worried that holding the funds could be an illegal impoundment.A report Thursday by the legal policy website Just Security added fuel to the controversy by revealing what was under some, but not all, of the deletions. The website said it had been shown some of the emails in unredacted form, including an Aug. 30 message from Duffey to a Pentagon budget official stating that there was "clear direction from POTUS" -- an acronym referring to the president of the United States -- "to continue to hold" the Ukraine military aid.The Times separately reported this week that Blair warned Mulvaney to "expect Congress to become unhinged" if the White House went ahead with the hold on the aid.Earlier Friday, Schumer went to the Senate floor to praise the reporting by The Times, the Center for Public Integrity and Just Security as an additional reason for the Senate, as part of Trump's trial, to seek documents and testimony that the White House had blocked impeachment investigators from obtaining."What constituted clear direction?" Schumer asked. "Did he get an order from the president, or did someone like Mr. Mulvaney get an order from the president passed on to Mr. Duffey? Was there discussion among officials about covering up for the president in delay of military assistance? These are questions that can only be answered by examination of the documentary evidence and by the testimony of key Trump administration officials under oath in a Senate trial."At least four collections of emails have now been released, or shared with reporters, detailing correspondence between White House officials and their counterparts at the Office of Management and Budget or the Defense Department.These exchanges show growing tension between the White House and the Pentagon as Defense Department officials questioned if they would be able to spend all of the military aid before the deadline on Sept. 30.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Interim ‘Jeopardy!’ host Ken Jennings slammed for wheelchair tweet | Page Six Celebrity News
November 25, 2020
GF8JOA07ZpI
The one with the cast of 'Friends', then and now | Page Six Celebrity News
November 25, 2020
FLlqmbxCjnI
Bill Murray’s brother Ed, inspiration behind ‘Caddyshack,’ dies | Page Six Celebrity News
November 25, 2020
VEzPd5ot58g
Kamala Not a Shoo-In for 2024 with Black America, Tamika Mallory Says | TMZ
November 26, 2020
YLoz9LmkeJ8
Flaming Lips Singer Wayne Coyne Breaks Down Bubble Concerts, COVID-Safe Fun | TMZ
November 26, 2020
lp8BvtRXGvw
Donald Trump Hits Golf Ball in the Water And Screams, 'I Hate This F***ing Hole!!!' | TMZ
November 26, 2020
OR2kQEO5Fbk
7 Questions with 'Wild Irish Thyme' Star Jamie Dornan
November 25, 2020
bqZLJEd8Gxs
Why 'Selena' star Christian Serratos Chose to Lip-Sync Selena's Songs
November 25, 2020
FNz_Pal3qeo
'Time' Director Garrett Bradley on Covering Incarceration, Why Black Family Archives Are Important
November 27, 2020
m7j3n7dPFOI
Jake Paul's Wild Ride to the Boxing Ring - Exclusive | E! News
November 27, 2020
czrnU-Yw7_w
Why Ryan Reynolds Is Ultimate Dad Goals! | E! News
November 27, 2020
P8TQb5jPHPg
Matt James: Fun Facts About New "Bachelor" Star | E! News
November 26, 2020
af0K5AImuRg
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
28
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Elche - Cadiz
28
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group Stage
Yokohama F. Marinos - Shanghai SIPG
28
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group Stage
Vissel Kobe - Guangzhou Evergrande
27
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - QPR
27
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Newcastle United
27
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Levante
25
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Swansea City - Sheffield Wednesday
25
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Middlesbrough - Derby County
25
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Bristol City - Watford
25
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Coventry - Cardiff City
25
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Millwall - Reading
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
QPR - Rotherham
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Stoke City - Norwich City
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Bournemouth - Nottingham Forest
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Preston NE - Blackburn
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Luton - Birmingham
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Wycombe Wanderers - Huddersfield
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Barnsley - Brentford
23
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Southampton
23
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Real Betis
23
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Burnley - Crystal Palace
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - AC Milan
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Leicester City
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Arsenal
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Torino
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Parma
22
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Koln - Union Berlin
22
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Alaves - Valencia
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Sheffield United - West Ham United
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Genoa
22
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Granada CF - Real Valladolid
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Verona - Sassuolo
22
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Cadiz - Real Sociedad
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Sampdoria - Bologna
22
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
SC Freiburg - Mainz
22
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Eibar - Getafe
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Fulham - Everton
21
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Barcelona
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Manchester City
21
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Hertha Berlin - Borussia Dortmund
21
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayern Munich - Werder Bremen
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Chelsea
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - West Bromwich Albion
21
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Cagliari
21
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Villarreal - Real Madrid
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.