Cooper: Ukraine asked about aid before phone call

Daniel Levin, attorney for Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper, looks at notes while she testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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UPDATED 6:54 AM PT — Thursday, November 21, 2019

According to a senior Pentagon official, Ukraine may have known that aid was being withheld before President Trump spoke to Ukraine’s president in July. While testifying in a public hearing Wednesday, Laura Cooper said her staff was contacted by a person at the Ukrainian Embassy the day of the president’s phone call. This person asked, “what’s going on with Ukraine’s security assistance?”

Her staff also received two emails from the State Department that same day, saying Ukraine and members of Congress were asking why the aid was being withheld. This is significant because the White House claims Ukraine couldn’t have felt pressured because they did not know aid was being held up.

“My staff showed me two unclassified emails that they received from the State Department. One was received on July 25th at 2:31 p.m. That email said that the Ukrainian Embassy and House Foreign Affairs Committee are asking about security assistance. The second email was received on July 25th at 4:25 p.m. That email said that the Hill knows about the FMF situation to an extent, and so does the Ukrainian Embassy.”

— Laura Cooper, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Cooper admitted she never discussed this topic with President Trump. Meanwhile, the White House maintains there was no wrongdoing on their part because the aid was eventually freed up and given to Ukraine.

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