White House admits quid pro quo over Ukraine aid
Mulvaney insists aid to Ukraine was not motivated by political investigations
A few days ago, the White House chief of staff stated that Trump was indeed guided by the principle &# 171; quid pro quo&# 187;
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Sunday defended his claim that President Donald Trump was blocking about $ 400 million in military aid to Ukraine not to force Kiev to investigate its Democratic rivals and the 2016 election. of the year.
Mulvaney told reporters a few days ago that Trump was indeed motivated by a quid pro quo, but a few hours later backed down and, in an interview on Sunday’s Fox News program, reiterated a different interpretation of White House political discussions..
“There were two reasons for the delay in aid,” Mulvaney said. – The first is the rampant corruption in Ukraine. The situation in Ukraine is so bad that in 2014 Congress passed a law requiring us to make sure the fight against corruption is going in the right direction. Corruption is very important. Everyone knows this “.
“The President was also worried whether other countries, especially European powers, were helping Ukraine,” he added..
At a White House press conference on Thursday, Mulvaney also said Trump wants to know if Ukraine has a computer server that was used by the Democratic National Committee in 2016, as Kiev backed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her unsuccessful fight for the White House..
The location of the server is part of the debunked theory that it was Ukraine that interfered in the 2016 elections, and not Russia, as established by American intelligence..
Mulvaney said Sunday that his words about Trump’s concerns about the server were “unrelated to aid,” although he said a few days ago, “This is why we withheld the money.”.
“We do this all the time in foreign policy,” Mulvaney said at the White House..
On Sunday, he said: “I never talked about quid pro quo, because there was nothing like that.”.
Initially delaying aid to Ukraine, Trump eventually unblocked it.
“Help is coming,” Mulvaney said Sunday. “As soon as we were able to make sure that their corruption situation was improving, and assistance from other countries to Ukraine increased, the money went”.
At a press conference a few days ago, Mulvaney pointed out a third condition, namely, Ukraine’s assistance to the U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation into the origins of the 2016 investigations, which ultimately led to the conclusion of Russian intervention to help Trump win..
Trump’s contacts with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy are at the center of Trump’s impeachment investigation opened by Democrats in the House of Representatives.
The investigation began when an intelligence informant raised concerns about a July 25 telephone call between Trump and Zelenskiy. The White House published a transcript of the conversation, which suggests that Trump has called on the Ukrainian leader to open an anti-corruption investigation against one of the key rivals in the next presidential election – former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as proceedings against his son Hunter Biden, who was on the council directors of the Ukrainian energy company.
The Biden denies wrongdoing on their part, although Biden Jr. recently stated that he “showed an incapacity for common judgment” by agreeing to work for a Ukrainian company, due to the political consequences for his father.
Trump claimed that when Joe Biden was vice president, he threatened to suspend loan guarantees to Ukraine if Kiev did not end its previously open anti-corruption investigation into the gas company where Hunter Biden worked..
No evidence of Biden corruption has emerged. However, asking a foreign government to find incriminating evidence on a rival is considered interference in the presidential election..
Trump called his conversation with Zelensky “perfect” and accused the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives of a witch hunt.
A House vote to impeach Trump seems entirely possible, but a presidential conviction and removal from office by a Republican majority Senate seems unlikely..
Trump campaign donor US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland recently told impeachment investigators that Trump ordered him and other diplomats to work with President Rudy Giuliani’s personal lawyer to pressure Ukraine into investigations. who can help Trump politically.
These investigations were supposed to affect the 2016 elections and the Ukrainian gas company where Hunter Biden worked..
Sondland told investigators he was disappointed that Trump was instructing diplomats to work with Giuliani on Ukraine..
“We believed that men and women working in the State Department, and not the president’s personal lawyer, should be held accountable for all aspects of American foreign policy toward Ukraine,” Sondland said..
According to him, diplomats who worked with Giuliani learned only “much later” that Giuliani would insist on an investigation into Biden “or involve the Ukrainian side, directly or indirectly, in the presidential re-election campaign.”.
“I want to be very clear about it. Asking a foreign government to investigate to influence the upcoming US elections is wrong, Sondland said. “Holding back foreign aid in order to put pressure on a foreign government to take these steps is wrong. I have not participated and will never participate in such ventures “.