The latest testimony to be released in the impeachment inquiry is from Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Laura Cooper, whose testimony was delayed for several hours recently after the Republican protest storming the hearing room.
Cooper testifies that in one meeting, “there was just this issue of the White House chief of staff has conveyed that the President has concerns about Ukraine and Ukraine security assistance.”
A few days later she says there was another meeting where “it was stated very clearly what — that yes, it is FMF and USAI are both affected by this hold and that it relates to the President’s concerns about corruption.”
In that second meeting, Cooper says, there were concerns raised by deputies “about how this could be done in a legal fashion because there was broad understanding in the meeting that the funding — the State Department funding related to an earmark for Ukraine and that the DOD funding was specific to Ukraine security assistance.”
When asked in the hearing if people felt the president wasn’t authorized to stop the funds, Cooper says, “They did not use that term, but the expression in the room that I recall was a sense that there was not an available mechanism to simply not spend money that has been in the case of USAI already notified to Congress.”
You can read her full testimony here.