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Trump’s campaign to exact vengeance against government officials who opposed his illegal machinations in the Ukraine affair kicked into high gear with the White House’s decision to pull the nomination of the Department of Defense’s acting Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller, Elaine McCusker.
A Freedom of Information Act examination of McCusker’s emails revealed that she had committed the cardinal sin of pushing back against the Trump team’s efforts to illegally withhold the military aid allocated by Congress to Ukraine, only to find herself thwarted by Trump’s political appointee at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) named Michael Duffy.
“Based on guidance I have received and in light of the Administration’s plan to review assistance to Ukraine, including the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, please hold off on any additional DoD obligations of these funds, pending direction from that process,” Duffy, OMB’s Associate Director for National Security Programs, wrote in an email to three senior defense department officials. Duffy added: “Given the sensitive nature of the request, I appreciate your keeping that information closely held to those who need to know to execute direction.”
Duffy is one of four witnesses the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) wanted to testify in the Senate impeachment trial. Others are: Mulvaney, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Senior Adviser to the acting White House chief of staff Robert Blair, and a senior Mulvaney adviser.
All four officials refused to agree to depositions by House impeachment investigators.