The Timeline

February 15, 2019 President Trump signed into law legislation that created $141 million in State Department funds for military aid to the Ukraine. But, in order to fulfill his obligations to Congress, there had to be assurances from the Ukrainian government they were committed to addressing corruption in their country.

The dilemma: There was no viable Ukrainian government from February 2019 until late August 2019.

The Timeline

  • Sept. 2018: Trump signs into law $250 million in Defense Department funding for military aid to the Ukraine (NDAA 2019).
  • Feb 15th 2019: President Trump signs into law $141 in State Department funding for military aid to the Ukraine (Consolidation Appropriations Act).
  • March 21: First round of Ukrainian Presidential election
  • April 20: Ukrainian Presidential Run-off.
  • April 21: New Ukrainian President elected— Volodymry Zelenskyy.
  • May 20: Volodymry Zelenskyy is inaugurated.
  • May 2019: Pres. Zelenskyy dissolves the Ukrainian parliament calling for immediate parliamentary elections.
  • June 18: Department of Defense publicly announces release of $250 million
  • June 21: State notifies OMB of its intention to release $141 million in aid
  • July 18: Whistleblower complaint acknowledges OMB has received hold
  • July 21: Ukrainian parliamentary elections held.
  • August (late): New Ukrainian parliament is seated.
  • Sept. 11: President Trump releases military aid to Ukraine.
  • Sept. 24: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces impeachment inquiry

The House Democrat’s articles of impeachment are based on Donald Trump withholding congressionally authorized military aid to the Ukraine in exchange for among other things dirt on political rival Joe Biden.

Given the constraints placed on the U.S. military aid to Ukraine by Congress, including the Democrat controlled House, President Trump could not allow the release of the aid package until there were first assurances from the Ukrainian government that they were committed to address corruption in their country.

How does President Trump fulfill his sworn duty, given the conditions on the ground in the Ukraine?

Should Mr. Trump have simply allowed the DoD and State Department dole out the military aid on February 2019—to the existing government of President Petro Poroshenko—an administration thought by most to be thoroughly corrupt?

Furthermore, it was not known if Mr. Poroshenko would be in office after April 20th, the date of the Ukrainian Presidential Run-off elections. As it turned out, Mr. Poroshenko lost to political newcomer Volodymry Zelenskyy. Mr. Zelenskyy would not officially take office until May 20th, 2019.