Cooper: [...]And there it was, to me anyway in my experience, it was the fist time it was stated very clearly what — that yes, it is [Foreign Military Financing and Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funds] are both affected by this hold and that it relates to the President’s concerns about corruption. And that is what in that meeting Mike Duffey from OMB said.
Q: And the President is authorized to have these types of holds placed. Correct?
Cooper: Well, I’m not an expert on the law, but in that meeting immediately deputies began to raise concerns about how this could be done in a legal fashion because then was broad understanding in the meeting that the funding -- the State Department funding related to an earmark for Ukraine and that the DOD funding was specific to Ukraine security assistance.
Cooper: So the comments in the room at the deputies’ level reflected a sense that there was not an understanding of how this could legally play out. And at that meeting the deputies agreed to look into the legalities and to look at what was possible.