WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Trump Administration withdrew the nomination of Elaine McCusker, who was nominated to be comptroller of the U.S. Department of Defense, but whose nomination was effectively killed by the White House in retaliation for questioning President Trump’s Ukraine aid freeze.

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:

“Elaine McCusker is another casualty of the Trump Administration’s efforts to purge public servants who put country before fealty to the President.

“The termination of her nomination is collateral damage by a President who has vindictively purged career national security professionals caught up in the impeachment inquiry.  Ms. McCusker is a dedicated civil servant with decades of experience at the Department of Defense.

“Ms. McCusker is paying the price for trying to ensure that the Administration followed the law.  We know from witness testimony and leaked emails between her and the Office of Management and Budget that Ms. McCusker repeatedly raised concerns about the President’s unexplained hold on Ukraine security assistance and sought to ensure that the Administration was in compliance with the law.

“Unfortunately, Ms. McCusker’s well-founded fears came to fruition as the Government Accountability Office found that in withholding the Ukraine security assistance, the Office of Management and Budget violated the Impoundment Control Act.   

“The Administration appears to think that by pulling her nomination it can avoid oversight of the Department’s illegal hold on Ukraine security assistance funds.  It is sorely mistaken. 

“The American people deserve to know the full truth about why the President placed a hold on Ukraine security assistance.  As part of the Armed Services Committee’s continuing oversight, I call on the Department to provide the Committee with unredacted versions of emails between the Comptroller’s office and OMB.”