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Pascrell Denounces Trump Ukraine Chicanery

Washington, September 6, 2019

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today reacted to a Washington Post editorial that reported Donald Trump is potentially withholding $250 million in military aid to Ukraine to force the Kiev government to launch an investigation of a leading Democratic presidential contender. This comes on the heels reports that the Trump administration is delaying the military assistance to the new Ukrainian government.

“Vladimir Putin’s investment in Donald Trump is paying off. It’s bad enough that Trump designs our nation’s foreign policy to keep Putin happy. If he is now withholding aid to Ukraine to coerce them into investigating Democratic politicians, we’ll be knee-deep in banana republicanism,” said Rep. Pascrell, a longtime supporter of the Ukrainian government and Ukrainian people. “Trump and his enablers are afraid they can’t win an election without foreign assistance. But America’s international interests are not Trump’s electoral play-toy to be manipulated for his venal interests. This money was passed by Congress to provide security aid and support to Ukraine and that is what it must do – pronto. To compel Trump’s compliance with the law, Congress must continue to force his action through the appropriations process. At the same time, we will continue with vigorous oversight of this increasingly lawless administration. Add let me add: the silence here of Mike Pompeo is nothing but cowardice.

“Our Ukrainian friends continue to work hard to strengthen their government. They stand alone to Putin’s autocratic bullying and need America’s unqualified assistance. President Volodymyr Zelensky was elected on a promise of clean government. He seeks Ukraine’s further integration with the west. We should be offering our support to his government without qualification, and without the reeking whiff of Trump corruption.”

Rep. Pascrell has long been a vocal opponent of Vladimir Putin’s violations of peace and stability in Ukraine. After Russian troops first violated Ukraine’s sovereignty in March 2014, Pascrell called for Russia’s removal as a member of the G-8 and demanded immediate withdrawal of all Russian forces. He has also taken several steps to ensure U.S. support for our Ukrainian allies in the face of Russian aggression led by Putin. Pascrell has maintained a close relationship with the large Ukrainian-American communities in northern New Jersey, and recently attended an annual Ukrainian flag-raising ceremony in Clifton.

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