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Bolton Pushed Trump to Release Ukraine Military Aid in July

Former national security adviser John Bolton speaks during a press briefing at the White House, November 27, 2018. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Former national security adviser John Bolton reportedly pressured President Trump to release military aid to Ukraine that Trump had ordered withheld in July.

Trump asserts he initially withheld the transfer of $391 million aid package due to concerns regarding corruption within the Ukrainian government.

However, there is speculation that Trump withheld the funds to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate the son of political opponent Joe Biden, who had business holdings in a Ukrainian natural gas company from 2014 to early 2019.

Some officials in the Trump administration were apparently alarmed at Trump’s decision, believing that it might have been illegal.

Bolton wanted to release the aid and schedule a meeting between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelentsky in order to counter Russian belligerence but was overruled, according to the Washington Post.

Several Republican senators also challenged the President’s decision, though it remains unclear which senators voiced their opposition to the withholding of aid.

Bolton resigned from the administration earlier in September. He is already looking to write a book about his experience at the Trump White House, according to the Daily Beast.

Meanwhile, Democrats are intensifying calls to release details of a phone call between Trump and Zelensky, which they hope will clarify whether Trump used the withheld aid package as leverage to pressure Zelensky to investigate Biden’s son.

In the past few days several centrist Democrats in the House of Representatives have announced they will back impeachment of the President if it can be established that Trump used his office to pressure another world leader to investigate his political rival.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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