I came across this information last week but didn’t have a source I trusted, so I didn’t post it. Today I have a source, so here goes.
Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the release of aid to Ukraine. We heard the Democrats in the impeachment hearings claim that the money was released because President Trump knew he had been found out. Like most of what was said in those hearings, that was garbage. The Washington Examiner staff did some investigating and discovered the real story.
The article reports:
On the day he OK’d the aid, Trump learned that Congress was going to force his hand and spend the money anyway. He could either go along or get run over.
On Sept. 11, the White House received a draft of a continuing resolution, produced by House Democrats, that would extend funding for the federal government. Among other provisions, the bill would push the Ukraine money out the door, whether in the final days of fiscal year 2019 or in 2020, regardless of what the president did.
“The draft continuing resolution … would on September 30 immediately free up the remainder of the $250 million appropriated for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative in the fiscal 2019 Defense spending law and extend its availability for another year,” Roll Call reported a little after noon on Sept. 11.
According to knowledgeable sources, the Office of Management and Budget received the draft on the morning of Sept. 11. OMB Director Russell Vought informed the president around mid-day. There was no doubt the Democratic-controlled House would pass the measure, which was needed to avoid a government shutdown. Later that afternoon, Trump — who must have already known that the Republican-controlled Senate would also support the bill — had the point emphasized to him when he received a call from Republican Sen. Rob Portman.
Portman, and Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin co-chairs the Senate Ukraine Caucus. Along with several other senators, Portman wrote to the White House on Sept. 3, imploring the president to release the aid. On Spet. 11, Portman felt the need to talk again, with the same message — only this time with the backdrop of the House preparing to pass a bill that would force Trump’s hand.
At that point, the president knew he could not maintain the hold on aid in the face of bipartisan congressional action. So he gave in. By early evening on Sept. 11, the hold was lifted.
It was an entirely unremarkable end to the story: President tries to do something. Congress opposes. President sees he has no support and backs down. It has happened many, many times with many, many presidents.
Lied to again by those who have political motives.