A report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Trump administration violated the law by withholding $400 million in military aid from Ukraine. The GAO said that money was appropriated by Congress, and withholding it "for a policy reason" was against 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 Office of Management and Budget (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."
Thomas Armstrong, the GAO's general counsel, said that officials from the OMB stated that the money was withheld to ensure that Ukraine would not spend the funds "in a manner that could conflict with the President's foreign policy."
The House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump over his decision to hold up the money. Democrats have accused Trump of using the military aid as leverage to convince Ukrainian officials to publicly announce a corruption investigation into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
The GAO's report comes one day after the House voted to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. The trial to determine if Trump will be removed from office is set to begin next week.
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