The Washington Post
reported and the Wall Street Journal
has confirmed that Donald Trump himself ordered the freeze of congressionally allocated funds for Ukraine just one week before that phone call where he requested eight separate times
that Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelenskiy open a sham investigation of Joe Biden and his son. Which means Trump had personally started putting the squeeze on Ukraine before he made the big ask on July 25th.
Trump's trusty henchman Mick Mulvaney set the wheels in motion. On July 18, the Office of Management and Budget, headed by Mulvaney, told the Pentagon and the State Department that the funds allocated by Congress for Ukraine were being frozen because the president had "concerns." Except, as the The Washington Post reports
, the White House made darn sure not to tell them what those "concerns" were - which is how you know they were trying to cover their tracks.
Administration officials were instructed to tell lawmakers that the delays were part of an "interagency process" but to give them no additional information - a pattern that continued for nearly two months, until the White House released the funds on the night of Sept. 11.
Donald Trump held up the $500 million allocation for Ukrainian weapons systems, maritime defense, and coordination with NATO, and then took steps to hide
what he was doing by getting his underlings to lie about it. That's pretty strong circumstantial evidence that he intended to use the money as leverage to get the Ukrainian government to gin up a bogus case against Joe Biden.