Trump's Own Accountability Office Finds Trump Violated Law By Withholding Ukraine Aid

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

During the House's impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump last year, Republicans challenged Democrats to find a law that Trump broke by withholding congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine, pressuring the country's officials to open an investigation into his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Some House Democrats insisted that Trump violated the Impoundment Control Act, a 1974 law limiting the President's ability to withhold funds already allocated by Congress.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), the highest audit institution of the U.S. federal government, just took those Democrats' side.


The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) told GAO that the aid to Ukraine was withheld to make sure that the transaction was congruent with the President's policy initiative.

That didn't sit well with the Government Accountability Office:

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

The OMB disagreed with GAO's findings, but CNN legal analyst Elie Honig gave this disagreement some necessary context.

The findings added even more pressure on Senators to conduct a fair impeachment trial instead of one designed to benefit Donald Trump.








Senators will today take an oath of impartiality before the trial of Donald Trump begins.

Let's hope they keep it.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The health crisis in the United States continues to worsen in the face of the global pandemic, passing the 100,000 mark of confirmed virus cases—just days after earning the grim distinction of having more cases than any other country in the world.

Due to a dire shortage of lifesaving medical equipment, governors across the country are imploring the federal government to invoke its powers to compel private companies to manufacture more equipment and oversee distribution of what's already available.

Keep reading... Show less
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The saying "While the cat's away the mice will play" refers to people taking advantage of the absence of oversight to do as they like. While that is an apt description for what is happening now with the Trump administration using the public's focus on the global pandemic to roll back environmental protections, perhaps a better saying is "The inmates are running the asylum."

In other words, those least capable of running a group or organization are now in charge.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images // Senate Television via Getty Images

In the face of the public health crisis that's upended daily life in the United States, the historical impeachment trial of President Donald Trump—which ended on February 5—feels like a lifetime ago, despite captivating. a nation as late as last month.

One of the chief criticisms of the Republican party during the proceedings was the claim that Democrats were trying to undo an election that was only months away, out of fear that Trump would be reelected.

Keep reading... Show less

Rocco DeLauri Sr./YouTube

President Donald Trump, his administration, and his allies continue to accuse the media of promoting hysteria even as the pandemic that has taken over the United States claims over 93,000 cases and 1,400 deaths.

Keep reading... Show less
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

At a recent press briefing on the current health crisis facing the United States, President Donald Trump's pandemic response coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, made a highly misleading claim.

Birx said that "almost 40 percent" of the country had experienced a low level of spread of the virus despite having early casesk.

Keep reading... Show less
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

As the national health crisis in the United States continues to worsen, New York has quickly become the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States.

New York City alone has over 20,000 confirmed cases of the virus, and the state's death toll skyrocketed by 110% in just 36 hours this week. The urgency is only exacerbated by a shortage of crucial ventilators to combat the respiratory virus.

Keep reading... Show less