Hear Laura Cooper’s opening remarks to Congress
As previously reported, legislators are interested in the administration’s decision to withhold military aid allocated to Ukraine.
Laura Cooper, a senior Defense Department official who helped shape policy towards Ukraine and Russia, testifies on Wednesday on House committees leading the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump..
Lawmakers are interested in what Cooper knows about the administration’s alleged attempts to withhold military aid allocated to Ukraine until the country’s authorities promise to investigate ex-US President Joe Biden, one of Trump’s likely rivals in the 2020 elections..
Cooper, who is the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, is testifying on a voluntary basis. The Pentagon did not interfere with her speech in Congress.
The day before, testimony was given by William Taylor, head of the American embassy in Ukraine..
Taylor said US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland told him that President Trump linked aid to Ukraine with a promise to investigate the Biden and the now debunked theory of Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 presidential election..
When Taylor finished his congressional address, White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham emphasized: “There was no quid pro quo. Today, we only hear more third-hand testimony and selective leaks from politically motivated closed hearings held by Democrats. “.
Meanwhile, three Democratic senators on Wednesday sent a request to Attorney General William Barr under the Freedom of Information Act, demanding the provision of materials that refer to contacts between members of the Trump administration and the leaders of Ukraine, Turkey and other states..
They also requested all data on conversations between officials of the Ministry of Justice and representatives of the authorities of Ukraine and China on potential political opponents of Trump and the White House’s inquiries about the investigation into the Biden.
In their letter, Senators Kamala Harris, Sheldon Whitehouse and Richard Blumenthal note that the intelligence memorandum that kicked off the investigation and the latest testimony “raises serious concern about the possible involvement of the Justice Department in politically motivated investigations at the behest of the White House . “.
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