Public impeachment hearings began on Tuesday. So far, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Russel Vought, and two other political appointees have defied Congressional subpoenas to appear for testimony.
However, on Thursday, it was reported that Mark Sandy, another OMB official, will testify to Congress in relation to Trump’s scheme to extort the Ukraine with military aid. A main focus of the impeachment investigation concerns OMB’s role in denying military funding to the Ukraine.
Former Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney has also come under heavy suspicion. Former White House official Catherine Croft testified to Congress that aid was denied to the Ukraine because Mulvaney was afraid it would upset Russia.
According to Salon:
‘Mulvaney is pulling double duty at the White House, serving at the acting chief of staff as well as the director of OMB. Congress is looking into Mulvaney’s role in the Trump administration’s decision to block nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine to earlier this year to pressure the country into launching investigations into President Trump’s political opponents. Croft revealed that Mulvaney also played a key role in freezing a shipment of anti-tank missiles to the Ukraine in 2017, more than a year earlier.’
In her testimony, Croft called the OMB’s decision to block the aid shipment “highly unusual.” She said that the OMB was the “lone objector.”
A Congressional staffer asked Croft:
‘What was the concern about the Russian reaction?’
‘That Russia would react negatively to the provision of Javelins to Ukraine.’
Croft went on to say:
‘[It] was rather unusual to have OMB expressing concerns that were purely policy-based and not budget-oriented. At the beginning of the Ukrainian Javelin process, I had been told that OMB was taking a policy interest. And OMB began sending working level officials to attend meetings … which was very unusual at the time.’
The Times also reported:
‘Near the end of 2017, just as the government in Kiev was trying to get final approval from the Trump administration on the sale of the Javelin anti-tank weapons, [Ukraine’s] prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko, had begun freezing cases in Ukraine relevant to the Mueller investigation, including an inquiry tracing millions of dollars that Ukrainian political figures paid to Mr. Manafort.’
The OMB finally dropped its objection and the missiles were sent to the Ukraine. According to Salon:
‘Years later, the Javelin missiles played an important role in the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.’
Before Trump’s request to the Ukraine president to dig up diret on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, Zelensky told him:
‘We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps. We are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States.’
Trump then said:
‘I would like you to do us a favor though.’
Recent testimonies and new found information seem to be even more damning for Mr. Trump. It is safe to say that his actions were clear.
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube