- The Washington Times
Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a move by a key foreign policy Democrat to launch an investigation into the Trump administration’s move to freeze nearly $400 million in security aid to Ukraine and force the State Department to turn over documents related to the controversy regarding Ukraine.

“President Trump has once again stood in the way of congressional efforts to support Ukraine and all of Europe in the face of Russian aggression,” Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “We are in a crisis. It is a crisis potentially of constitutional proportions, a crisis that goes to the heart of our democracy.”

The Senate action came the same day the Justice Department released the highly anticipated transcript of a July 25 call between President Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky that many Democrats contend was an improper attempt by Mr. Trump to get information on potential Democratic rival former Vice President Joe Biden.

The Justice Department’s Criminal Division has investigated Mr. Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president about Mr. Biden and concluded Mr. Trump did not violate campaign finance laws, officials announced Wednesday. Mr. Trump has denied any impropriety.

Mr. Menendez called for an investigation into the hold on security aid to Ukraine that was meant to Russian aggression.

In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Mr. Menendez wrote that “If the [State Department] is facilitating efforts to condition foreign aid — appropriated by Congress — for reasons other than strategic or foreign policy interests of the United States, the circumstances and details of these efforts must be fully disclosed and explained to Congress.”

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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