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IG Requests 'Urgent' Briefing With Congressional Committees On Ukraine

The briefing will take place this afternoon, and was spurred by new legal documents from the State Department.
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New Day's panel tried to parse the reasons behind the "urgent" request for the State Department inspector general to meet with Congressional committees today.

"Berman, I'm going to use the three words you're never allowed to say on cable news, which are, 'I don't know.' I don't know what's in these reports, and you know, we'll know soon," legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said.

"You know, given the pace of developments, it appears that it's likely to be related to the whole Ukraine matter, but I -- you know, I -- you know, I just don't know."

"I don't know either, but that's not stopping me, Susan (Glasser), and so what I'm hinging my theory on is this sentence from the reporting about what the inspector general has to say," Alisyn Camerota said.

"Here it is, the inspector general said the reason for the briefing was the office had obtained documents from an acting legal adviser in the State Department. I'll grant you, there's not a lot of detail there, but that tells me that it's something from a legal adviser was alarming enough that he alerted these congressional committees and wants to come over and speak about it. Your thoughts?"

"Well, look. First of all, it does also tell us that there are documents, and I think the paper trail is one of the things that I think is going to end up being quite significant as the impeachment investigation on the Hill moves forward," Glasser said.

"Because it's not just about parsing the words in the transcript of President Trump's phone call with Ukraine's president, but I'm struck talking to this in this pretty small world of experts here in Washington who follow Ukraine and Russia very closely. Remember that for months there was an ongoing debate and discussion about this military aid that Congress had approved to Ukraine and you know, what kind of a paper trail is there on the hold up and the delay in it?

"The Washington Post and the New York Times have reported according to sources that President Trump personally held up the aid and instructed Mick Mullvaney, his acting chief of staff, and that was relayed to participants at an inter-agency meeting, and is there a paper trail that could be followed on and what about the State Department paperwork involving the firing and the abrupt replacement of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine which also seems to have been part of the shadow foreign policy that Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump were running?

"So again, I don't want to get ahead, this could be totally unrelated and it could be a new allegation, but I am interested in the documentary paper trail I believe does exist as we go forward around this allegation," she said.

"That sentence that you pointed out, Alisyn, legal adviser is a term of art in the State Department, and the legal advisor is a high ranking person within the state department and that's a job that is always filled and so the fact that the acting legal adviser who is a high-ranking official initiated this process, you know, suggests that it is of some moment, but again, what it is, I -- I don't want to speculate," Toobin said.

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