Washington (AFP). An official from the US budget office asked the Pentagon to stop military aid to Kiev 90 minutes after the controversial phone call between President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, according to an internal email.
The message is part of a series published by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to research.
This is the controversial message revealed this Sunday. (Capture)RELATED
Trump is accused of retaining $ 400 million in assistance to Ukraine to pressure Kiev to investigate his potential political adversary in the 2020 elections Joe Biden.
"Based on the guidelines I have received and in light of the administration plan to review assistance to Ukraine … please stop any additional obligations of the Department of Defense of these funds," wrote the official of the Administration Office and Budget Michael Duffy in an email to the Pentagon.
The message was sent at 11h04 am, one hour and 31 minutes after Trump ended the controversial conversation with his Ukrainian couple on July 25, according to a report of the call published by the White House.
Trump is accused of withholding $ 400 million in assistance to Ukraine to pressure Kiev to investigate Joe Biden. (AFP)
"Given the delicate nature of the request, I thank you for keeping that information secret for those who need to know," Duffey added.
Republicans defended the measure in a report by House of Representatives staff on December 2, saying it was "not unusual" for foreign aid to be delayed, the Center for Public Integrity said.
Republican Senator Ron Johnson told ABC on Sunday that "emails don't shed any new light" on Trump's reason for withholding aid to Ukraine.
"The president was worried about whether the dollars of US taxpayers earned with effort should be spent in a country where there are proven cases of corruption," he said.
Meanwhile, the main Senate Democratic Senator, Chuck Schumer, called emails "explosives" in a tweet on Sunday, denouncing Trump's refusal to allow certain White House officials to testify.
"If there's nothing wrong with retaining help, why didn't Michael Duffey want anyone to know what he was doing?" Schumer wrote.
Trump was indicted by the House of Representatives for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on December 18. (AFP)
The email "is one more reason why we need Duffey and others to testify in a Senate trial," he said.
If there is nothing wrong with withholding the aid, why didn't Michael Duffey want anyone to know about what he was doing?
If the call was so perfect, why is the email so “sensitive” that it should be kept hush-hush?
What are they afraid of? pic.twitter.com/TYDLKB3SYG
– Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 22, 2019
Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar echoed Schumer's sentiment on CNN. "If the president is so innocent and should not be brought to political trial, why are you afraid that these people will speak?" Said the candidate for the presidential nomination of the Democratic party.
Trump was indicted by the House of Representatives for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on December 18. Despite the testimony of 17 officials who claimed that Trump took advantage of his position to obtain political gains, the president has said innocent throughout the political trial investigation, which he denounced as an "attempted coup" and an "assault on the United States" .
Now he faces a political trial in the Senate, possibly in January.