The Democratic-led US House of Representatives committees leading the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Monday (November 11) released a transcript of a Pentagon official’s testimony as Trump continued to seethe over the investigation.
The release of the testimony given by Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense, in an earlier closed-door session came two days before the impeachment inquiry enters a crucial new phase. The first public hearings in the investigation – focused on Trump’s request that Ukraine investigate political rival Joe Biden and whether he withheld security aid as leverage – are set for Wednesday and Friday.
Cooper described at some length the approval process for the $391 million in aid to Ukraine, including that the Pentagon had determined that Kiev had met anti-corruption requirements for the release of the funds. Trump and some of his supporters have argued that the funds – approved by the U.S. Congress to help combat Russia-backed separatists in the eastern part of Ukraine – were blocked by Trump to press Zelensky’s government to fight corruption, not to seek an investigation of Biden and his son.
“All of the senior leaders of the US national security departments and agencies were all unified in their – in their view that this assistance was essential,” Cooper said, according to the transcript of her remarks on Oct. 23, the day that a group of Republicans stormed into the secure facility where she was testifying, delaying her interview by a few hours.