Hale describes the controversy about helping Kiev as something that happens “sometimes” and says that what happened with Yovanovitch “was wrong”
MADRID, Nov. 21 (EUROPE PRESS) –
Laura Cooper, deputy secretary of the Pentagon for Affairs of Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, admitted Wednesday during a public hearing held in the House of Representatives for a possible 'impeachment' against the US president, Donald Trump, that Ukraine was aware of the retention of military aid the same day the leader had a controversial telephone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelenski.
As he explained, senior Ukrainian officials knew there was a problem with US aid to the country “as early as July 25,” the day Trump had asked Zelenski by phone to do his best to have the Prosecutor's Office investigate his political rival and former US vice president, Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter.
The words of the person in charge of supervising the affairs of Ukraine and Russia in the Department of Defense undermine the rejection by the Republicans of accusations of a 'quid pro quo' to force Kiev to launch a search on Hunter. In defense of Trump, the party has claimed that there was no exchange of favors or bribery if the Ukrainians were unaware that the aid was being withheld.
However, Cooper has reported during his testimony before the Intelligence Commission of the House of Representatives that some of his staff remembered receiving emails from the Ukrainian Embassy on July 25, the same day as the call between the presidents.
“What is happening with the security assistance to Ukraine?”, Picked up one of the emails sent to a member of the Cooper team, who has described at least three interactions among his staff that show that the Ukrainian government was aware of the question of aid from Washington.
In another email sent by the Department of Defense on July 25 – and whose existence Cooper has claimed to have no previous record – he warned that “the Capitol knew about military aid and, therefore, also the Embassy of Ukraine”.
As Cooper has defended, his team showed him the two emails in question after the transcript of his statements was published behind closed doors before the Chamber.
“One was received on July 25 at 14.31 (…) and the second on the same day at 16.25,” he said.
The Deputy Secretary for Political Affairs of the United States, David Hale, has said that withholding help from third countries is not “common” but happens “sometimes.”
This is how Hale answered the question of Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe, who pointed out that other countries such as Pakistan and Lebanon have recently received a suspension of their respective aid.
Hale, meanwhile, has taken the opportunity to emphasize that what happened with the former ambassador of the country in Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, “was wrong.” Yovanovitch was stopped by Trump after she described a “smear campaign.” According to Hale, the diplomat acted with dignity, as “a patriot.”
“I think he should have continued in his position developing an impeccable job,” he added. Yovanovitch testified earlier this week that he was the victim of a “smear campaign” that he mainly blames Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who would have made false accusations against him.
The public appearances, which will end this Thursday with the testimony of Fiona Hill, former member of the National Security Council, are called to lay the foundations for the possible formal opening of a political trial against Trump.
For the process to prosper, a majority of the House of Representatives should vote in favor, although Republicans are a majority in the Senate, where the aforementioned trial would take place.