GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) just blew his attempt to brush off the impeachment hearings' latest bombshell.
In the second of Wednesday's hearings, Defense Department official Laura Cooper revised her previous closed-door testimony to say Ukrainian officials noticed their U.S. security aid was held up months earlier than she previously said. Ratcliffe then tried to lead Cooper into saying that was no big deal, but she didn't give in to his loaded question.
Cooper recently learned Ukraine had inquired about withheld U.S. security aid as early as July 25, she said Wednesday in a revision from her earlier testimony. That's the same day President Trump asked Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election — an alleged quid pro quo. Republicans have tried brush off that alleged exchange, saying a quid pro quo couldn't have happened if Ukraine didn't know the aid was being held up.
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Cooper's statement bucked that notion, so when Ratcliffe got a chance to question her, asked a series of questions in which he tried to get Cooper to claim Ukraine's inquiries about the aid were no big deal. The inquiries from Ukraine about the aid asked about the "assistance," not necessarily the "hold," Ratcliffe asked. "Not necessarily," Cooper agreed after a pause, mirroring his statements as he continued. But when Ratcliffe tried to tie it all together and say it's "not unusual" for countries to ask about aid, Cooper used her "experience with the Ukrainians" to say that's just not the case. Watch that moment below. Kathryn Krawczyk
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