Calls for impeachment are rising on Capitol Hill as more details emerge from a call by President Donald Trump to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he repeatedly asked for the investigation of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Now, reports indicate that Trump froze roughly $400 million in military aid shortly before the call. The timing could reinforce arguments of an implied or express quid pro quo arrangement. Update: Trump confirmed that he ordered the withholding of funds.
According to various news outlets, Trump ordered his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to hold back that money. Officials at the Office of Management and Budget surprised many in the Administration that the money would be held back. The Ukrainians are facing Russian insurgents and the aid is desperately needed. In addition, both Democrats and Republicans supported the aid.
Notably, former National Security Adviser John Bolton reportedly pushed Trump to release the badly needed military aid. Trump later fired him.
The call was made just after Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified in Congress. Trump may have gotten free of an impeachment for the Mueller issues only to trip a new wire with new impeachment allegations. As I have written, the allegation of self-dealing would be a viable impeachable allegation and Trump may have succeeded in forcing the hand of Nancy Pelosi who has worked hard to shutdown impeachment efforts. Even Pelosi may be unable to stop a real impeachment over this allegation of self-dealing.