A top Pentagon career official overseeing Ukraine policy is due to testify before the House impeachment inquiry on Wednesday, an appearance that takes place amid intense scrutiny over whether the White House sought to freeze military aid to Ukraine as part of an effort to pressure Kiev to investigate President Donald Trump’s political rivals.
Laura Cooper — the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia — is set to appear even though the Defense Department told Congress that it would not comply with a House subpoena to provide documents related to the freezing of US security aid to Ukraine.
Cooper is currently believed to be voluntarily appearing before the three House committees leading the Democratic impeachment inquiry and the Pentagon has not yet sought to block her testimony. She will be accompanied by a personal lawyer, according to defense officials.
As a top official overseeing US policy towards Ukraine, Cooper would have been involved with overseeing US military assistance to Kiev, assistance such as the $250 million aid package that was frozen by the Trump Administration despite the Pentagon’s recommendation that it go forward.
What motivated the White House to order that freeze has formed a central part of the impeachment inquiry into Trump.