The Donald Trump administration ordered the United States Defence Department to freeze military assistance to Ukraine within 91 minutes of the president’s conversation with his counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, according to a recently released government email, BBC reported on Sunday. Last week, Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for abuse of power and obstruction of the Congress.

Trump is accused of trying to coerce his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in a corruption case. Joe Biden is a frontrunner for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the presidency. Trump allegedly tried to use military aid worth almost $400 million sought by Ukraine, which is facing Russian military aggression, as leverage against Zelensky.

The Center for Public Integrity acquired a cache of emails after a court order in a freedom of information case. In an email, senior White House official Michael Duffey told Pentagon officials that Trump was personally interested in the Ukraine assistance matter and had ordered to hold it. “Given the sensitive nature of the request, I appreciate your keeping that information closely held to those who need to know to execute the direction,” Duffey added.

The emails also revealed that a few Pentagon officials were worried that the move could be unlawful, and was an ill-advised policy.

A transcript of the July 25 phone conversation between Trump and Zelensky was released after a whistleblower alerted Capitol Hill that the incident was being covered up. Trump is also accused of obstructing the Congress by not cooperating with the House investigation.

Following the impeachment, Trump will face a Senate trial that is likely to acquit him as it is controlled by Republicans.

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