Federal Watchdog Determines White House Broke Law By Freezing Ukraine Aid

Headline Roundup January 18th, 2020

The Government Accountability Office, an independent, non-partisan watchdog agency that provides auditing and investigative services for Congress, found this week that President Donald Trump's administration violated federal law when it withheld aid to Ukraine. In a report released Thursday, the office concluded that a 1974 law governing budgeting procedures "does not permit OMB (Office of Management and Budget) to withhold funds for policy reasons" and that the constitution "grants the president no unilateral authority to withhold funds from obligation."

Outlets on both sides of the aisle highlighted the timing and significance of the ruling, which came hours before lawmakers were set to be sworn in for Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate. Many also included a response from OMB, which disagreed with the determination.

Federal Watchdog Determines White House Broke Law By Freezing Ukraine Aid

From the Center
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A federal watchdog concluded that President Trump broke the law when he froze assistance funds for Ukraine last year, according to a report unveiled on Thursday.

The White House has said that it believed Trump was acting within his legal authority.

Trump's decision to freeze military aid appropriated by Congress is at the heart of impeachment proceedings against the president that are shifting venues this week from the Democrat-controlled House to the majority-Republican Senate.

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From the Right
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The U.S. government’s congressional watchdog determined that the Trump administration violated the law when it withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in security aid to Ukraine in the summer of 2019.

The Government Accountability Office released a nine-page report Thursday concluding the Office of Management and Budget violated the Impoundment Control Act when it held up $214 million appropriated by Congress to the Department of Defense to help Ukraine as it deals with a Russian incursion in the eastern part of its country.

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From the Left
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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...

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