News

Law & the Courts

Government Accountability Office Finds Trump Administration Broke the Law by Withholding Military Aid from Ukraine

Government Accountability Office (GAOWatchBlog)

The Government Accountability Office, the federal government’s top auditing group, released a report on Thursday deeming the Trump administration’s hold on military aid to Ukraine illegal.

While Congress had earmarked $350 million in military aid destined for Ukraine over the summer, the Trump administration held up the transfer of the aid. The White House Office of Management and Budget explained in a December memo to the GAO that the holdup was intended as a routine review of the funds. However, the GAO eventually concluded that the measure was not in line with the law.

“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 GAO wrote in its report. “The 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,” the report continued.

The OMB original memo explained that Defense Department officials told their own staff that the aid package to Ukraine would not be released until September. Additionally, the memo states that “at no point during the pause” did DoD attorneys tell OMB officials the aid would not be released by the end of the fiscal year.

The finding by the GAO may bolster Democrats’ leverage ahead of the President Trump’s impeachment trial. Democrats allege that Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine to pressure the country to investigate corruption allegations against political rival Joe Biden.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

U.S.

Baby Please Come Back, Says Andrew Cuomo

Then-mayor Mike Bloomberg famously described New York City in 2003 as a “luxury product,” and therefore priced accordingly. The price hasn’t changed, except to go up slightly — taxes, rents, everything. But few would argue that the product New York offers remains first-rate. The theaters are closed. The ... Read More
U.S.

Baby Please Come Back, Says Andrew Cuomo

Then-mayor Mike Bloomberg famously described New York City in 2003 as a “luxury product,” and therefore priced accordingly. The price hasn’t changed, except to go up slightly — taxes, rents, everything. But few would argue that the product New York offers remains first-rate. The theaters are closed. The ... Read More
The Economy

What’s an ‘American’ Car?

I’m not too sure about Dmitri’s ode to American cars, because I am not too sure what is an American car. In what sense should a Jeep Compass manufactured in Mexico be thought of as American while a Mercedes GLE made in Alabama isn’t? The answer cannot be corporate ownership: Both companies have ... Read More
The Economy

What’s an ‘American’ Car?

I’m not too sure about Dmitri’s ode to American cars, because I am not too sure what is an American car. In what sense should a Jeep Compass manufactured in Mexico be thought of as American while a Mercedes GLE made in Alabama isn’t? The answer cannot be corporate ownership: Both companies have ... Read More

William Tecumseh Sherman: A Warrior in Full

Statues of William Tecumseh Sherman stand throughout the country, including a striking gilded-bronze one by Augustus Saint-Gaudens outside Central Park in New York City. Reading a biography of Sherman in the context of the current spate of iconoclasm brings home how anyone looks immaculate on a pedestal, or to ... Read More

William Tecumseh Sherman: A Warrior in Full

Statues of William Tecumseh Sherman stand throughout the country, including a striking gilded-bronze one by Augustus Saint-Gaudens outside Central Park in New York City. Reading a biography of Sherman in the context of the current spate of iconoclasm brings home how anyone looks immaculate on a pedestal, or to ... Read More
Politics & Policy

America, You’re Doing Okay: A Pep Talk

On the menu today: Some really intriguing new research on why so many people are asymptomatic with the coronavirus, and a theory that masks are effective in part because they aren’t 100 percent effective; a pep talk for everyone in America who’s trying to get a handle on their anxiety, stress, and gloom right ... Read More
Politics & Policy

America, You’re Doing Okay: A Pep Talk

On the menu today: Some really intriguing new research on why so many people are asymptomatic with the coronavirus, and a theory that masks are effective in part because they aren’t 100 percent effective; a pep talk for everyone in America who’s trying to get a handle on their anxiety, stress, and gloom right ... Read More