The government watchdog found that the money was withheld "for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act."

The Trump administration violated the law by withholding military aid to Ukraine, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a decision released Thursday.

"In the summer of 2019, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) withheld from obligation funds appropriated to the Department of Defense (DOD) for security assistance to Ukraine," the non-partisan government watchdog's ruling said.

"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 withholding was not a programmatic delay. Therefore, we conclude that OMB violated the ICA."

"An appropriations act is a law like any other; therefore, unless Congress has enacted a law providing otherwise, the president must take care to ensure that appropriations are prudently obligated during their period of availability," the decision says.

"The Constitution grants the president no unilateral authority to withhold funds from obligation."

If the White House wanted to withhold the funds, the president had an obligation to notify Congress and "provide detailed and specific reasoning to justify the withholding," the decision said.

An OMB spokesperson said in response, "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."

A senior administration official said the GAO's findings "are a pretty clear overreach as they attempt to insert themselves into the media’s controversy of the day" and predicted the agency would have to reverse itself.

“GAO’s opinion would force agencies to spend appropriated funds as quickly as possible, before a thoughtful policy process could be completed," the official said. "This opinion stretches the legal requirements of the ICA, and following it would be irresponsible."

OMB had said in a footnote in related paperwork during the hold in aid that the freeze was in place “to determine the best use of such funds,” and the agency told the GAO the hold was "necessary to ensure that the funds were not spent 'in a manner that could conflict with the president’s foreign policy.'"

The GAO called that reasoning "impermissible." "Faithful execution of the law does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law," the decision says.

Another OMB argument, that the hold was a "programmatic delay," has "no basis in law," the decision says.

The GAO said it still has unanswered questions about the appropriateness of another possible hold in up to $160 million in State Department foreign military aid for Ukraine in August.

"OMB and State have failed, as of yet, to provide the information we need to fulfill our duties under the ICA regarding potential impoundments of FMF funds," the agency said. "We will continue to pursue this matter and will provide our decision to the Congress after we have received the necessary information."

The ruling was released hours before senators were set to be sworn in for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. The House impeached the president for abuse of power, alleging that the president withheld the Ukraine aid for personal and political gain, as well as for obstructing the congressional probe into the hold.

"The OMB, the White House, the administration — I'm saying this — broke the law," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters after the decision was released. Pelosi said the finding illustrate the administration's "tangled web to deceive."

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., tweeted that the GAO decision demonstrates "without a doubt" that "the president himself ordered this illegal act." Van Hollen had requested the office review the hold in October.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D.-Vt., said, "Congress chose to provide military assistance to an ally which is literally under attack by Russia, and the law required that aid to be delivered. But instead of executing the law and standing with our ally, the president withheld the aid to serve his own political interests."

Leahy urged his colleagues to keep that in mind during Trump's trial.

"It is the responsibility of the Senate to defend our Constitution’s carefully balanced separation of powers, and in doing so, judge whether President Trump abused his office for personal gain when he withheld congressionally appropriated funds from an ally in violation of the Impoundment Control Act," he said in a statement. "I take that responsibility seriously. I urge every senator to do the same."

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., shrugged off the GAO finding. "These are taxpayer dollars going to another country that people believed there was corruption with the new administration. I think it was the rightful thing to do," he told reporters.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politi...WVX98sc6nRfLcsooHNrY

Neither John Bolton nor Lev Parnas killed themselves.
just getting ahead of it.

Original Post
HIFLYER2 posted:
Robot Unicorn posted:
1130 posted:

isn't that what Biden bragged about doing?   just asking

You're mistaken. It's not the same.

 

Why not?

Biden, in line with U.S. policy and international policy,  threatened to withhold aid unless Ukraine fired a prosecutor who was widely viewed as corrupt by Ukrainian officials .

Trump asked the president of the Ukraine to investigate Biden, his political rival, then froze aid. Facts have shown Trump only cared about the announcement of an investigation.

You tell me. What's the difference?

 

 

Robot Unicorn posted:
HIFLYER2 posted:
Robot Unicorn posted:
1130 posted:

isn't that what Biden bragged about doing?   just asking

You're mistaken. It's not the same.

 

Why not?

Biden, in line with U.S. policy and international policy,  threatened to withhold aid unless Ukraine fired a prosecutor who was widely viewed as corrupt by Ukrainian officials .

Trump asked the president of the Ukraine to investigate Biden, his political rival, then froze aid. Facts have shown Trump only cared about the announcement of an investigation.

You tell me. What's the difference?

 

 

Ok 

If the prosecutor was corrupt why did Biden have to threaten to with hold aid?  

The President has a right to ask a foreign government to look into criminal dealing by a previously elected official. He also has the right to threaten with hold aid if they do not comply.   Just because someone is running for office does not mean they can’t be investigated.  Heck I mean that is all the Democrats have Ben doing since President Trump was elected.

HIFLYER2 posted:
Robot Unicorn posted:
HIFLYER2 posted:
Robot Unicorn posted:
1130 posted:

isn't that what Biden bragged about doing?   just asking

You're mistaken. It's not the same.

 

Why not?

Biden, in line with U.S. policy and international policy,  threatened to withhold aid unless Ukraine fired a prosecutor who was widely viewed as corrupt by Ukrainian officials .

Trump asked the president of the Ukraine to investigate Biden, his political rival, then froze aid. Facts have shown Trump only cared about the announcement of an investigation.

You tell me. What's the difference?

 

 

Ok 

If the prosecutor was corrupt why did Biden have to threaten to with hold aid?  

The President has a right to ask a foreign government to look into criminal dealing by a previously elected official. He also has the right to threaten with hold aid if they do not comply.   Just because someone is running for office does not mean they can’t be investigated.  Heck I mean that is all the Democrats have Ben doing since President Trump was elected.

Without pressure from outside the Ukraine, from the US, the World Monetary Fund, and European Diplomats, the corrupt Ukraine government wouldn't have cared.

Stop whining about investigations into Trump. Republicans started investigations into Bill Clinton before he ever took office. Republicans still chant 'Lock Her Up' at campaign rallies. 

Republicans don't get to act like they're innocent when they've been doing the same thing for over 3 decades.

you are so far off,,, Clinton has nothing to do with this,, however we all know her sins.   Biden didn't have the authority to with hold funds.  he used it to protect his son.  Trump didn't tie funds to his request.  plus if you can't see Biden's crime you might not want to debate.. cuz you don't have enough sense to see the truth if it slapped you In the face

Jack Hammer posted:
It's already been proven, Trump didn't tie funds to his request but
Biden make a video doing the dirty deed and no one didn't see it.

 

Nothing says 'I'm innocent' like blocking testimony, evidence, facts, refusing to testify. Republikkkans sure have their own 'facts'.

1130 posted:

your just a troll,,, trying to justify democrat corruption,,, sad

And that would make you a troll, trying to justify Republikkkan corruption. So sad. Pitiful.

It must be so hard going through life thinking scientists, researchers, Federal Agencies, Intelligence Depts., and half of America is lying. While the man who hides evidence, blocks witnesses, is convicted of fraud on multiple accounts, proven pathological liar is the only person who tells you the truth.  Republikkklandia must be a great place. After all, Ignorance is Bliss.

I thought more people knew how deep the FBI (Wray) and other higher
ranking personal were deep state. They been very busy hiding Hilda's
tracks. It was also found the recent so called White Supremacy flare ups
were by way of the FBI. This day and age it's extremely hard to hide what
the computer does. 
 
When Trump said it's not me they want, it's you they're after, I'm just
in their way. Becoming more apparent everyday.  

 

HIFLYER2 posted:

There was No Republican corruption!!!  Who’s kids worked for the corrupt Ukraine oil companies?   I’ll answer for you all Democrats!’

I'll ask you, just like I asked Jack. What exactly can Hunter Biden prove about Trump's Impeachment? I'll answer for you, Nothing.

Trump: I was investigating corruption.

also Trump: It's too bad we can't bribe foreign officials.

Just a heads up for today. Trump admitted to obstructing the investigation, in a speech in Davos. Congrats.

I couldn't think of a better plan. Then again J. Biden has been discredited
years ago, who do you think showed his sons the art of abuse of power.
Qbumer's very flexible himself when it comes to other countries money
and how to laundry it, the Clinton's taught him. 
Jack Hammer posted:
I couldn't think of a better plan. Then again J. Biden has been discredited
years ago, who do you think showed his sons the art of abuse of power.
Qbumer's very flexible himself when it comes to other countries money
and how to laundry it, the Clinton's taught him. 

I figured they all got pointers on laundering money from Trump. The Russians think he's great at it.

Jack Hammer posted:
Yep, I also have more than one source for the fact Trump didn't
violate the law. Over three (3) years later and no crime.
Nothing but liberals and their never ending whining and snot
covered bow ties. 

 

Well, in that case, Hillary has over 25 years with zero convictions. That doesn't stop your snot bubbles and incessant whining about President Clinton, President Obama or Former SoS Hillary.

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