Key Facts and Latest News
- Deposition of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper, who was asked to appear before MEPs on Friday postponed to next Thursday
- On Thursday at the White House, acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said the delay in aid to Ukraine was due to fears of corruption in the country and tied the delay to Ukraine's co-operation with an investigation of the Minister justice.
- Later, Mulvaney issued a statement reverting to his comments, stating that " has absolutely no quid pro quo."
- Gordon Sundland, the US ambassador to the European Union, told lawmakers Thursday that he was "disappointed" by President Trump's directive to work with Rudy Giuliani for Ukraine.
- Congressman Elijah Cummings, chairman of the powerful House Oversight Committee, passed away at the age of 68. He is a key figure in the impeachment investigation.
- During a July call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Mr. Trump called on Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.
In a speech to White House reporters, Mick Mulvani described the talks with President Trump, paraphrasing him, saying, "Look, this is a corrupt place. I don't want to send them loads of money and get them to waste them, get them to spend them, use them to arrange their own pockets. Plus I'm not sure other European countries are helping them either. "
"Did you mention to me in the past corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely. No question about that," Mulvey said, referring to the unproven theory that Ukrainians have set the Russians to hack into DNC computer systems. "But that's it. That's why we kept the money."
Mulvey repeated his rationale later in the briefing: "I participated in the process by which the money was temporarily withheld, OK? Three questions about this: corruption in the country, whether other countries are supporting Ukraine and whether they or They are not cooperating in an ongoing investigation with our Ministry of Justice. This is perfectly legal. "
Following a briefing from Mulvaney, a senior Justice official said the agency was not aware of any link between the aid for Ukraine and the investigation. of the origin department of Counterintelligence study in 2016.
"If the White House refuses assistance in cooperating with any investigation in the Justice Department, this is news to us," said a spokesman for the White House.
Jay Sekulov, Foreign Advisor to the president, also issued a brief statement in response to Mulvani's comments on delaying aid from Ukraine, saying: "The president's legal advisor did not attend a briefing by British Secretary Mike Mulvey."
Later on Thursday, the White House released a statement from Silence, seeking to clarify its remarks, accusing the media of misinterpreting its remarks and claiming that "there was never a condition for aid flow related to the issue of DNC server. "
Earlier in the day, the US ambassador to the European Union told MPs he was "disappointed" that Mr Trump had directed him and other diplomats governing US policy toward Ukraine to work with his personal lawyer Rudy Julian.
"Please know that I would not recommend Mr. Giuliani or any private citizen to participate in this foreign policy matters," Sondland said in a statement prepared for his congressional statement Thursday. "However, given the explicit the President's instruction, and the importance we attached to organizing a White House meeting between Presidents Trump and Zelensky, we agreed to do as President Trump gave. "
Sondland's testimony came as Washington wrestled with the congressman's death Leah Cummings, Democratic chairman of the powerful House Oversight Committee and a key figure in the impeachment investigation, a 68-year-old congressman who frequently confronted Mr. Trump.
who was asked to appear on Friday was adjourned to the following Thursday .– Stefan Beckett
– Paula Reid and Clare Hymes contributed to the reporting
Mulvaney, issued a new statement claiming "no quid pro quo"
Thursday 6:00 PM: Late Thursday with In the afternoon, the White House issued a statement from Mulvaney, reversing its previous comments:
Once again, the media decided to misunderstand my comments in order to promote prejudiced and political witchcraft against President Trump. Explain that there is absolutely no professional action between Ukrainian military assistance and any election inquiry in 2016. The president never told me to keep the money until the Ukrainians did something about the server. The only reasons we kept the money were because of concerns about lack of support from other countries and fears of corruption. Repeatedly during a more than 30-minute briefing, where I received over 25 questions, I referred to President Trump's interest in eradicating corruption in Ukraine and ensuring that taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly and appropriately. There was never a link between funds and Ukrainians doing something with the server – this was made clear by the fact that the aid money was delivered without any action by the Ukrainians regarding the server.
There was never any condition for the flow of help related to the DNC server issue.
Rick Perry, who plays a role in relations with Ukraine, resigns as Energy Secretary
Thursday, 17:11: Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who has played a key role in managing US relations with Ukraine, has informed the president that he intends to resign, two administrative sources familiar with the matter have reported, reports said. on CBS News.
Read more here.
DOJ Official: Mulvaney's justification for refusing assistance to Ukraine is "news to us"
Thursday, 14:53: After a briefing by Mulvaney, a senior Justice Department official stated that the Office was not was aware of any link between the assistance to Ukraine and the investigation by the originating department of the Counterintelligence Study in 2016.
"If the White House refuses assistance in cooperating with any investigation within the Ministry of Justice, this is news to us, "said the official.
familiar with the reaction within the department, said employees were "completely confused" and "angry" at Mulvaney as they claimed assistance was denied in connection with the invitation to estigation. – Clare Hymes
Mulvaney Relations Delayed assistance from Ukraine to investigate in 2016
Thursday, 1:38 PM In a briefing Thursday, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvani said that hundreds of millions of dollars in US aid to Ukraine were delayed due to fears of corruption and partly a desire to make Ukraine to co-operate with the Department of Justice's internal investigation into the origins of the US counterintelligence survey in 2016 for election interference.
Mulvani, who was involved in delaying the aid package in July shortly before the president's call with the Ukrainian leader, said the aid was dependent on Ukraine, ensuring that the money would not be wasted on corruption. He appears to acknowledge that the president has raised an unproven theory about the DNC hacker email server, which also paused for help. Mulvaney also said the US wants other European countries to contribute more to Ukraine's security.
"President Trump is not a big fan of foreign aid. He has never been, not yet. He does not like to spend money abroad, especially when it is poorly spent, "Mulvaney said." And that is exactly what prompted this decision. "
paraphrasing the president, saying, "Look, this is a corrupt place. I don't want to send them a bunch of money and make them waste, spend it, use it to line their own pockets. Plus, I'm not sure other European countries are helping them either. "
" Did he mention to me in the past corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely. No question about that. But that's it. That's why we kept the money, "Mulvaney said. The aid was eventually released in September under pressure from lawmakers.
Asked by Jonathan Carl from ABC News to clarify whether the request for an investigation into 2016 activities. is part of the reason for refusing help, Mulvani said, "looking back at what happened in 2016 was certainly part of what he was worried about corruption with this nation. And that is absolutely appropriate."  "What you just described is a quid pro quo," Carl replied. "That's right, the funding will not expire unless the Democratic Server Inquiry happens."
"We do this constantly with foreign policy," Mulvani said, adding: "I have news for everyone: Overcome it. Foreign policy will have political influence … It will happen. The elections have consequences." – Stefan Beckett
Interviews next week in the impeachment investigation
The committees that direct the impeachment investigation have a full schedule for next week's interviews. Here's their plan, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
- Tuesday, October 22: William Taylor, Commander for Affairs at the Ukrainian Embassy
- Wednesday, October 23: Philip Reeker, acting Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs
- Thursday, October 24: Alexander Windman, Director of European Affairs of the National Security Council
- Friday, October 25: Surya Gianti, Foreign Service Officer in Kiev , and Timothy Morrison, Russia's chief advisor to the National Security Council – Rebecca Kaplan
Elijah Cummings, a key figure in the impeachment investigation, died at 68
One of the key figures in the House Democrats' impeachment investigation was chairman of the Elias Cummings oversight committee, who died early Thursday morning due to continuing health complications. now fill in as acting chair. The process of democratic caucus for election of permanent chairman will be announced later.
Cummings has conducted numerous investigations into Mr. Trump's dealings, including some related to President Ivanka Trump's daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, both serving as White House top advisers.
The president responded by criticizing the Cummings neighborhood as a "rodent mess" where "no human being would want to live" in the summer.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Larry Hogan, the Republican governor of the state, has 10 days to formally request an election to be held no earlier than 65 days after, around the end of February.