The United States’ assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani came the night before the Senate returns to Capitol Hill to deal with Trump’s impeachment and only hours after the release of Office of Management and Budget emails that show how President Trump was directly responsible for the decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine to pressure its president to investigate Trump’s political rival, Joe Biden, ahead of this year’s election.
In one email, top OMB official Michael Duffey wrote that there was “Clear direction from POTUS to continue to hold,” in reference to the nearly $400 million of withheld military aid to Ukraine. POTUS is of course “president of the United States.” The House has impeached President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over the withheld aid. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is slated to address impeachment on the Senate floor today.
The Democratic-controlled House and the Republican-controlled Senate are in an unprecedented standoff over President Trump’s impeachment. House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi has refused to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate in efforts to pressure Senator McConnell to conduct a fair trial. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been slated to meet with the Ukrainian president today in Kiev but has postponed his trip to Ukraine amid the mounting tensions between the U.S. and Iran.