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Pentagon ordered to hand over documents related to delayed military aid to Ukraine
Despite the Pentagon's desperate attempts to stay out of the growing Ukraine drama engulfing Washington, senior officials at the Defense Department have been directed to turn documents on military aid to Ukraine to the Office of the General Counsel.
"Today, the general counsel of the department — in keeping with past practice on matters of importance and to ensure that all appropriate department information is available on this matter — directed that DoD offices should provide any pertinent documents and records to the Office of General Counsel for cataloguing and review," Chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters in a briefing on Thursday.
The documents will include "all records and communications" relating to the military aid to Ukraine, which sits at the center of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump spurred by his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July. Hoffman said, both in and outside of the Department. Hoffman said that he views this as "a fairly routine but proactive measure."
"My understanding is that this is a fairly standard practice that when there's a significant level of congressional ... interest in a matter for the department to take steps, proactively, to ensure that these materials are available. To me, I think it seems to be a routine proactive measure that we're taking."
Hoffman added that he isn't aware of any requests that have come in from Congress to the Department or Secretary of Defense Esper, other than a letter from Congress asking the Inspector General to consider opening an investigation into the matter.
He also clarified that, to his knowledge, no one from the Pentagon was on the July 25th phone call, which has jolted the U.S. government into chaos.
"The Secretary has an incredibly busy schedule and is working on a number of different issues at any one time, he doesn't spend most of his day sitting on other people's phone calls."
An Army veteran from Columbus claimed he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after a deployment in Afghanistan that earned him a Purple Heart and Silver Star.
As a result, he collected $76,000 in benefits for the mental condition.
He admitted Wednesday, however, that all of that was a lie.
He was not deployed to Afghanistan, never suffered PTSD and never received the two honors, which are among the highest bestowed for military service.
SAN DIEGO — Days after Rep. Duncan Hunter pleaded guilty to a federal felony related to a yearslong campaign finance scandal, he has finally stated explicitly that he will resign from his congressional seat before the end of his term.
"Shortly after the holidays I will resign from Congress," Hunter, R-Calif., in a statement. "It has been an honor to serve the people of California's 50th District, and I greatly appreciate the trust they have put in me over these last 11 years."
A collision between a Coast Guard boat and a Navy vessel near Kodiak Island, Alaska on Wednesday landed six coasties and three sailors to the hospital, officials said.
The Navy has identified the two Defense Department civilians who were killed in a shooting Wednesday at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii.
A shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida has left four people dead, including the gunman, law enforcement officials said at a Friday news conference.
The shooter and two victims were killed at the base and another victim died after being taken to the hospital, said Chip Simmons, deputy chief of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.
Another seven people remain hospitalized, including two sheriff's deputies who engaged the gunman, Simmons said at Friday's news conference. One was hit in the arm and the other was shot in the knee. Both are expected to recover.