President Donald Trump points to supporters after speaking at his Black Voices for Trump rally Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
This morning, we were greeted to “bombshell” coverage of a Government Accountability Office finding involving the Trump administration.
Amazingly, the GAO managed to release its findings that Trump “broke the law” by withholding the Ukrainian aid within 24 hours of the Lev Parnas interview and Pelosi sending over the articles of impeachment to the Senate. What a coincidence that all of this is compounding at the same time and that it just so happens to put pressure on Mitch McConnell to give into Democrat demands.
The resistance within these bureaucracies is alive and well, but I digress. Let’s talk about what this actually means.
The Trump administration violated the law by withholding $214 million in security assistance to Ukraine in the summer of 2019, according to a legal opinion by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office.
“Today, GAO issued a legal decision concluding that the Office of Management and Budget violated the law when it withheld approximately $214 million appropriated to DOD for security assistance to Ukraine,” GAO General Counsel Thomas Armstrong said in a statement Thursday.
The OMB disagrees, citing past precedent of latitude being given to Presidents to manage appropriations in accordance with policy initiatives.
“We disagree with GAO’s opinion,” Semmel said. “OMB uses its apportionment authority to ensure taxpayer dollars are properly spent consistent with the President’s priorities and with the law.”
The other issue here that makes this decision by the GAO questionable is that the aid was released before it was legally required to be appropriated.
Regardless, is this the impeachment bombshell that it’s being framed as by the Democrats and media?
In short, no, not even close.
Also, the ICA has a procedure DIRECTLY on point regarding a failure of the executive branch to convey a special message giving a rationale for withholding aid. Again, it isn't impeachment: pic.twitter.com/HJO6XjtZAu
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 16, 2020
In other words, these are administrative machinations by which the law calls for administrative fixes to. There will be no criminal charges and impeachment is not a recommended remedy for any scenario under the current statutes.
Sure, the Democrats could still impeach over it, but it’d be further proof of how partisan and political the process is. Want proof? Check this out.
Just a reminder that GAO findings are not legally binding and no, they are not impeachable. In fact, the law provides latitude to fix issues and none of them are impeachment. Obama also "broke the law" according to the GAO. I missed his impeachment trial. https://t.co/mD8uQBzewk
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) January 16, 2020
Yes, Barack Obama also “broke the law” according to the GAO. Not a single Democrat denounced him, much less did they call it an impeachable offense. Further, the media at the time buried the story. No one cared, no one took it seriously, and by the next day it was out of the news cycle.
In hindsight, One could even argue that Obama’s violation of the law was worse because of Bergdahl’s history and the danger associated with releasing five high level terrorists. It didn’t matter, as the Obama administration simply ignored the ruling.
This latest GAO decision is meaningless. It isn’t legally binding and even if it were, the remedies are administrative in nature. The left and the media are simply gaslighting the public by pretending otherwise.