Two White House budget officials resigned in part out of frustration with President Donald Trump’s order to freeze U.S. military assistance to Ukraine, a senior budget official told House impeachment investigators.
Mark Sandy, whose closed-door deposition transcript was released Tuesday, said the initial concerns about the hold on military aid caused at least two officials within the Office of Management and Budget to resign.
One of those officials, a lawyer, stepped down over concerns that the hold was violating the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, which sharply curbs the executive branch’s authority to alter congressionally appropriated funds; another resigned over “frustrations about not understanding the reason for the hold.”
Sandy’s deposition was among the final transcripts released as part of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. Democrats held two weeks of public hearings in the House Intelligence Committee where they heard from key witnesses; the investigation moves to a new phase after Thanksgiving when the Judiciary Committee begins the process of drafting articles of impeachment.
The hold on nearly $400 million of U.S. military aid to Ukraine is central to the House’s impeachment inquiry, as investigators have sought to learn whether Trump conditioned the aid on Ukraine’s willingness to launch an investigation targeting former Vice president Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.