U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following joint statement in response to President Trump’s reference to a letter they sent to the General Prosecutor of Ukraine in 2018 raising their concerns that the Trump Administration could unduly pressure Ukraine into obstructing the Mueller investigation by withholding funding:
“President Trump is desperate to divert attention from his abuse of power. We wrote to the Ukrainian prosecutor general in 2018 regarding press reports that, in order to curry favor with President Trump, Ukraine was considering not cooperating with Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in U.S. elections.
“The Ukrainians were justifiably concerned that Trump would exact revenge by blocking security assistance if they did not act in his political favor. It turns out that was truer than any of us could have imagined. Yes, we were worried that the President of the United States would abuse his office and leverage U.S. security assistance for his own personal agenda back in 2018. It looks like we were right then and we are right now.
The Senators’ letter was written in response to a New York Times report that the Ukrainian Prosecutor General was considering not cooperating with the Mueller Probe out of concern that President Trump would cut off aid as punishment. The Senators’ letter in no way calls for the conditioning of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine.