President Trump’s campaign to exact vengeance against government officials who opposed his illegal machinations in the Ukraine affair kicked into high gear with the White House’s decision to pull the nomination of the Department of Defense’s acting Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller, Elaine McCusker.
A Freedom of Information Act examination of McCusker’s emails revealed that she had committed the cardinal sin of pushing back against the Trump team’s efforts to illegally withhold the military aid allocated by Congress to Ukraine, only to find herself thwarted by Trump’s political appointee at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) named Michael Duffy.
She tried to do everything in her power to help the White House get what they wanted without actually breaking the law. Just Security’s summary notes, “The emails show officials bending over backwards to make every conceivable accommodation to keep the process moving without actually being able to obligate the funding.”
Now, the New York Post reports Trump is trying to destroy the acting Pentagon CFO’s career for getting caught doing her job properly:
The White House is expected to pull the nomination of Elaine McCusker to be the Pentagon’s comptroller and chief financial officer in the latest staffing fallout from President Trump’s impeachment, The Post has learned.
In heavily redacted McCusker emails, it became clear that President Trump directed his subordinates to implement the unlawful hold.
“This administration needs people who are committed to implementing the president’s agenda, specifically on foreign policy, and not trying to thwart it.” a White House official told The Post in a statement justifying the retaliation. “Thwarting the president’s agenda” is how the White House describes what Elaine McCusker did when in reality she acted to do her job and implement Congress’ agenda, which was to send military aid to our allies in Ukraine.
Of course, it ultimately emerged that Trump’s “agenda” proved to be completely illegal and that McCusker was in the right for resisting the White House’s demands.
Unfortunately, even though Senate Republicans admitted that the impeachment managers proved that Trump acted illegally, all but one of the GOP members voted to acquit him, since they don’t feel like the illegal acts by the president required any punishment.
Now, the Pentagon’s CFO is the latest victim in an ongoing retaliation campaign by Donald Trump against the few members of the federal government who dared to do the right thing. His other targets for revenge include those who testified against him during the impeachment hearings, like Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and quid pro quo revealing former EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland. He even fired Vindman’s twin brother from the National Security Council as a lawyer when his only involvement in the impeachment hearings is being related.
It appears the Pentagon’s top financial officer is sadly on her way out. President Trump is sure to replace the DOD’s stalwart comptroller with one of his pliable cronies to oversee the war-making department’s absurdly bloated, $700 billion annual budget.
Original reporting by Steve Nelson at the New York Post.
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition