GAO Report: Trump Violated Law Freezing Military Aid To Ukraine

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If Donald Trump had his way, he would not have released the $391 million in aid to Ukraine in their military effort. Why did he release it? He got caught. If POTUS had managed to hold out to the end of the fiscal year, all that money would have reverted back to the U.S. government. Now, we find proof that the commander-in-chief’s actions are illegal.

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) wrote an eight-page report on its findings. The office concluded that the White House Budget Office illegally froze Ukraine’s congressionally approved aid. He violated the Government Contol Act, according to The POLITICO:

“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law.’

GAO Report.

The OMB spokesperson Rachel Semmel disagreed with GAO’s findings:

‘We disagree with GAO’s opinion. OMB uses its apportionment authority to ensure taxpayer dollars are properly spent consistent with the president’s priorities and with the law.’

GAO Report.

House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY) released a statement that read:

‘The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office has confirmed what congressional Democrats have understood all along: President Trump abused his power and broke the law by withholding security assistance to Ukraine.’

GAO Report.

House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY) also released a statement. It read:

‘The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office has confirmed what congressional Democrats have understood all along: President Trump abused his power and broke the law by withholding security assistance to Ukraine.’

GAO Report.

What does the American aid buy? It obtains “everything from Humvees and patrol boats to counter artillery radar and lethal weaponry such as Javelin antitank missiles.” The former U.S. Army in Europe’s Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges told NPR: 

‘First and foremost, U.S. military aid represents a physical manifestation of American support, which is essential. No. 2, the actual capabilities have provided help: The Javelins provided a deterrent effect; the counterfire radar has helped save lives because of the early warning it provided.’

GAO Report.

The Independent Defence Anti-Corruption Committee is a watchdog group in Kyiv not related to the government. Its leader Olena Tregub said that while corruption has been a big problem, the new President Volodymyr Zelensky has gone after it. Russia is a big threat to Ukraine:

‘Trump can be happy because right now, Ukraine for real is fighting its defense sector corruption, which was an issue under the former president. But it did not concern security assistance. It was about looting money from the Ukrainian defense budget — Ukrainian money.’

GAO Report.

Deputy Director to the Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies in Kyiv, Mykhailo Samus, a military analyst said:

‘We never see this money. This is American money getting processed inside the U.S. The Americans are buying goods and services in the U.S. and transferring them to Ukraine.’

GAO Report.

Hodges was part of implementing the Yavoriv Combat Training Center. He said that America has traditionally aided Ukraine in its war efflort, but there was more:

‘We saw this as a great opportunity to learn because no Americans have been under Russian artillery or rocket fire or that kind of lethal environment with Russian capabilities. And so we were able to learn a lot from Ukrainian soldiers and officers.’

GAO Report.

Samus added that the Ukrainian army has transformed itself with the help of the United States plus other NATO countries. Some of those were the U.K., Canada, and Poland:

‘They’re absolutely different armed forces from what we had before. Before 2014, even in military doctrine, we didn’t have any enemies. After 2014, the Ukrainian armed forces became a real instrument to fight against aggression.’

The Government Accountability Office eight-page report.

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