TROUBLE FOR TRUMP: White House Broke Law In Freezing Ukraine Aid

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President Donald Trump, gestures during a signing ceremony with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to sign a U,S, China trade agreement, in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

The federal government’s watchdog agency said Thursday a White House office violated federal law in withholding security assistance to Ukraine.

The Government Accountability Office said in a report that the Office of Management and Budget violated the law in holding up the aid. The freeze is at center of the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

The independent agency, which reports to Congress, said OMB violated the Impoundment Control Act in delaying the security assistance Congress authorized for Ukraine for “policy reasons,” rather than technical budgetary needs.

“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,” wrote the agency’s general counsel, Thomas Armstrong, in the report.

OMB has argued the hold was appropriate and necessary.

“We disagree with GAO’s opinion. OMB uses its apportionment authority to ensure taxpayer dollars are properly spent consistent with the President’s priorities and with the law,” said OMB spokeswoman Rachel Semmel.

Trump was impeached last month on charges of abusing his power for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democratic rivals, as he was withholding the aid, and for obstructing Congress’ ensuing probe. The Senate is set to begin its trial on Thursday.

(AP)




8 COMMENTS

  1. Not a big deal since this has been a standard practice in the past, e.g. when Obama cut off aid to a country for persecuting homosexuals. Also, unless backed up by a statute, the opinion of civil servants doesn’t really bind the president. However Congress could pass a statute, which would clearly bind Trump and future presidents (which is why the Democrats might not be to anxious to do so).

  2. Is this even newsworthy? This administration violates both the law and political norms on a daily basis. Its sort of like running a headline saying “President Lied” (for the 9,783rd time since taking office). Perhaps more newsworthy would be something like “President Goes 24 hours without lying or embellishment of Facts–Surpporters Worry that President may have come under Pelosi Mind Control”
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  3. JOe Biden set a precedent when he did the same exact thing – and bragged about it and got away with it. . If it wasn’t against the law then it shouldn’t be against the law now.

  4. This is such a bunch of garbage! The Executive branch is in charge of foreign policy, not the legislative branch. No law was broken! If Congress decides that they want to give Cuba 500 million dollars and the President says, NO, Cuba is an enemy of the state, they don’t get it. No law is broken, because that is exactly the constitutional right that was given to the POTUS. Same here. Its his right to say that Ukraine is a corrupt government and i’m going to withhold your aid until you root it out.