GAO: Trump Violated Law by Withholding Ukraine Aid

GAO: Trump Violated Law by Withholding Ukraine Aid January 17, 2020

The non-partisan Government Accountability Office has ruled that Trump violated federal law by withholding aid to the Ukraine to pressure them to reopen an investigation into Hunter Biden. This seems rather obvious — the president can’t arbitrarily decide not to distribute money allocated by Congress.

Volodymyr Zelensky presidential inauguration‎, 20th May 2019; credit to Ukrainian government.

On Thursday, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report concluding that President Donald Trump’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) violated federal law by refusing to render the funds for Ukrainian military sales that were approved by Congress…

At issue is a federal law known as the Impoundment Control Act, which requires executive agencies to spend money that Congress has appropriated. The GAO report concludes that the OMB “withheld funds for a policy reason,” which is not a legal reason to do so.

“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law. OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act (ICA)” the GAO said.

One is almost tempted to utter “duh” in response. Once again we have Trump thinking of himself as a king who can do anything he wants with no legal constraints. And he’ll continue to do it because he always thinks he can get away with it and he knows his followers want him to be a king.

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