More than $35 million of the nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine that was delayed by President Trump still has not reached the country, The Los Angeles Times reports.
Pentagon documents obtained by the outlet show that the funds remain in US accounts and there is no clear reason why the money has not been released.
Congress approved $250 million in military aid and $141 million in State Department assistance last fall, but Trump blocked the aid this summer as he pressured Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
“Because of a congressionally mandated 15-day waiting period, the administration’s delay left lawmakers less than a week to secure the money before the legal authority to spend it expired at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30,” the Times reported.
US Treasury holding funds despite Pentagon assurances:
Pentagon officials have insisted that the funds would reach Ukraine but $35.2 million for grenade launchers, secure communications, and naval combat craft remain under the control of the Treasury Department.
Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Carla Gleason confirmed the report but would not say why, only saying that the aid had to be distributed “over the next several weeks.”
Congress wants answers:
California Democrat John Garamendi, the chairman of a House Armed Services subcommittee, said that the Pentagon has not been forthcoming about the issue.
“We’ve raised the question and we have not received an answer,” Garamendi told the Times. “We’re going to have to find out why.”
Senate Democrats called on Defense Secretary Mark Esper to release the funds.
“Speeding the delivery of this critical aid, which Congress specifically appropriated to improve the security of Ukraine, is important to affirm our commitment to Ukraine in the wake of the chaotic, undisciplined, and deeply concerning approach the administration has taken toward our important partner,” Democrats said in a letter.