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Democratic House Leaders Demand White House Release Ukraine Aid Delay Details


U.S. President Donald Trump

WASHINGTON -- The Democratic chairs of two House committees have called on the White House to release documents relating to its decision to withhold funds for Ukraine that is now at the center of an impeachment hearing.

The chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee Nita Lowey and the chairman of the House Budget Committee John Yarmuth made the call in a letter addressed to the White House and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on September 27.

In the letter, Lowey and Yarmuth said they were concerned President Donald Trump abused his authority by temporarily blocking the nearly $400 million Congress had authorized for Ukraine to defend itself. Trump this month released the funding after the weeks long holdup was made public.

The lawmakers are seeking to establish a timeline for when Trump and the OMB withheld the funding and why they did so.

When asked why he blocked the funding by reporters, Trump highlighted corruption in Ukraine and the need for Europe to contribute more.

House Democrats have launched an impeachment inquiry on whether Trump withheld funding to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to open an investigation into Joe Biden, who is seeking to challenge Trump in 2020, and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

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