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(GAO) ... President Trump's administration broke the law

Xenon

Member

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a legal opinion on Thursday saying that President Trump's administration broke the law by withholding defense aid to Ukraine — the issue at the heart of the president's impeachment trial.

That money, $214 million which had been allocated to the Department of Defense for security assistance, was appropriated by Congress and therefore the administration did not have the right to hold it back just because it disagreed with its allocation, the opinion from the nonpartisan government watchdog 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," the opinion said. "[The Office of Management and Budget] OMB withheld funds for a policy reason ... not a programmatic delay. Therefore, we conclude that the OMB violated the ICA [Impoundment Control Act]."



Trump is not having a good week.
 

Hotspurr

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Bro this is just hearsay, there is no first hand evidence, this would never fly in a real trial. Leave the orange man alone you big bully!
 

Xenon

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Bro this is just hearsay, there is no first hand evidence, this would never fly in a real trial. Leave the orange man alone you big bully!

To be fair though this is more about government policy then an actual punishable offense. This would normally be used in an argument to release the funds but since those have been released it's a clarification for future governmental operations. But the timing is really bad from an Optics standpoint.
 
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Bolivar687

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Probably the most hilarious non-story this week. These "non-partisan" administrative agencies are staffed by career government bureacrats in one of the most defended Democratic strongholds in the country, issuing merely one legal opinion among many. Friendly reminder - government lawyers also said that torturing enemy combatants was legal. Are you sure this is the team you want to root for?

Saying "the President broke the law" is a sensationalist headline intended to generate hysteria. The President and Congress have always had the freedom to probe the Constitutional boundaries between eachother, with the courts having the final say. This is yet another example of unelected officials working in tandem with the media to stage a disinformation campaign against their own country.

If you're honestly under the impression that Trump isn't having a good week, after signing phase 1 of the China deal, the Senate approving the USMCA, and Nancy Pelosi relinquishing the articles of impeachment, you seriously need to reevaluate where you're getting your news from.
 

Hotspurr

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To be fair though this is more about government policy then an actual punishable offense. This would normally be used in an argument to release the funds but since those have been released it's a clarification for future governmental operations. But the timing is really bad from an Optics standpoint.
Speaks directly to the constitutional duty of a president of executing his duty in good faith, which clearly he didn't. Add on top of it that "his own policy priorities" were smearing political rivals and victimizing himself for being criticized during his election. Geez, it's like the most horrific train wreck I've ever seen with the most dedicated flock of sheep going along.
 

Xenon

Member
If you're honestly under the impression that Trump isn't having a good week, after signing phase 1 of the China deal, the Senate approving the USMCA, and Nancy Pelosi relinquishing the articles of impeachment, you seriously need to reevaluate where you're getting your news from.
That occurred to me after posting. He's having a mixed week. Sadly the news media is only going to pick up on the bad stuff.
 

USMC43

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GAO is controlled by the house (Pelosi) - their opinion is irrelevant. And what fucking clown world is this. Biden's son, Pelosi's son, John Kerry's son - all worked at energy companies in Ukraine. No wonder they don't want anyone sniffing around. I want them all investigated immediately.
 

DeepEnigma

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GAO is controlled by the house (Pelosi) - their opinion is irrelevant. And what fucking clown world is this. Biden's son, Pelosi's son, John Kerry's son - all worked at energy companies in Ukraine. No wonder they don't want anyone sniffing around. I want them all investigated immediately.
There is definitely a ton of smoke in this conflict of interest sham.
 
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CDiggity

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OK two things.

1. The funds were withheld and released within the same fiscal year, so the obligations outlined by Congress were still met. This would be a different story if this happened from December-January

2. While the White House must submit the request to impound certain funds to Congress, if there is a failure to do so, it falls to the comptroller general (you know, the director of the GAO) to file a report and submit that to Congress as an equivalent. To my knowledge, I haven't seen any mention of a comptroller general report regarding the potential recinding of Ukraine aid.
 

CDiggity

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I'm a bit confused by all the antics going on over the pond atm so perhaps someone could help me out. Does this mean that Pelosi gets to hand out more gold pens?
Potentially yes, since the abuse of power charge in the articles of impeachment was regarding the potential quid pro quo/bribery/extortion/buzzword with Ukraine, with the withheld funds only being a point of evidence.

The House could theoretically draft another article using the action of witholding funds without Congressional approval (for any reason) as an impeachable abuse of power.
 

KINGMOKU

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Trump could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and his die-hard fans would still support him.
Just want to make sure you intended to compare a random act of violence, and the hold up of aid to a foreign country, which was then released.
 

Hissing Sid

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Potentially yes, since the abuse of power charge in the articles of impeachment was regarding the potential quid pro quo/bribery/extortion/buzzword with Ukraine, with the withheld funds only being a point of evidence.

The House could theoretically draft another article using the action of witholding funds without Congressional approval (for any reason) as an impeachable abuse of power.
Thanks for that. So if she does hand out more golden pens will they be presented on the same silver trays? I really liked the silver trays. Very pretty. Gave the whole event gravity. It was like watching the signing of an armistice or something. You could just tell something of great historical import was happening when the golden pens on the silver trays were unveiled. I was all agog in front of my screen as Nancy handed them out. She was all like 'One for you, and one for you, and one for you, and one for you....' Much stylish. Many dignity.

Makes me a bit sad really as we don't go in for that kind of swankery over here. If our lot doled out historical occasion pens they'd probably be spraypainted bics or suchlike. Ooooh, but having said that we are trying to crowdfund some Big Ben Bongs atm. £500,000 is needed. Thats a lot of change for a few chimes.

I think I like the golden pens better.
 
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belmarduk

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Just want to make sure you intended to compare a random act of violence, and the hold up of aid to a foreign country, which was then released.
The point is that there is really nothing that Trump can do that will make his fans not support him. Trump knows this.. and I was paraphrasing him.
 
Mar 18, 2018
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The point is that there is really nothing that Trump can do that will make his fans not support him. Trump knows this.. and I was paraphrasing him.
I don’t like Trump. I didn’t vote for Trump. I would gladly see him impeached over an something that had merit to it.

Yet here we are. Because I think this is nonsense I suppose you think of me a supporter.

What a world we live in. People don’t even try to navigate the social waters with nuance.
 

Cybrwzrd

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I technically broke the law this morning a few times on my drive into work.
 

CDiggity

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Thanks for that. So if she does hand out more golden pens will they be presented on the same silver trays? I really liked the silver trays. Very pretty. Gave the whole event gravity. It was like watching the signing of an armistice or something. You could just tell something of great historical import was happening when the golden pens on the silver trays were unveiled. I was all agog in front of my screen as Nancy handed them out. She was all like 'One for you, and one for you, and one for you, and one for you....' Much stylish. Many dignity.

Makes me a bit sad really as we don't go in for that kind of swankery over here. If our lot doled out historical occasion pens they'd probably be spraypainted bics or suchlike. Ooooh, but having said that we are trying to crowdfund some Big Ben Bongs atm. £500,000 is needed. Thats a lot of change for a few chimes.

I think I like the golden pens better.
The reason for the golden pens was the "historic" value, I doubt that you would want to go all out for the second time round. Maybe silver pens on copper plates for the next time.
 
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belmarduk

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I don’t like Trump. I didn’t vote for Trump. I would gladly see him impeached over an something that had merit to it.

Yet here we are. Because I think this is nonsense I suppose you think of me a supporter.

What a world we live in. People don’t even try to navigate the social waters with nuance.
You're familiar with the situation Ukraine is in, I presume? They are quite reliant on military aid from us. For a US president to withhold that aid in an attempt to gain a political favor is extremely unethical and, if you're going by this report, illegal. You may not think that Ukraine is deserving of US military aid but that's a separate issue.
 

DarkMage619

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So they broke the law by withholding the aid which they gave to Ukraine a month later? What's the consequence?
The aid should have never been withheld at all. If I try and kill someone and fail does that mean no crime was committed? The person didn't die so no biggie right? There was a law specifically written to keep presidents from withholding aid congress approved. This also ruins the idea that the aid was held up because Trump was a crusader against corruption. The DOJ said Ukraine met its obligations. Biden was not a consideration nor should he have been.
 

Sign

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You're familiar with the situation Ukraine is in, I presume? They are quite reliant on military aid from us. For a US president to withhold that aid in an attempt to gain a political favor is extremely unethical and, if you're going by this report, illegal. You may not think that Ukraine is deserving of US military aid but that's a separate issue.
They got the aid before the deadline. They got arms Obama refused to give them, and I'm sure you take umbrage with Biden threatening aid for his corrupt son.
 

USMC43

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You're familiar with the situation Ukraine is in, I presume? They are quite reliant on military aid from us. For a US president to withhold that aid in an attempt to gain a political favor is extremely unethical and, if you're going by this report, illegal. You may not think that Ukraine is deserving of US military aid but that's a separate issue.
Just because Joe Biden is running for President, it doesn't make him immune from investigation. He's literally on tape bragging to the CFR about pulling the same exact thing he's being impeached for, its ludicrous.
 
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NickFire

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So much theater. This entire charade has been similar to what would happen if you took the worst movie ever made, and added 234 hours of deleted scenes from bestiality porn.
 
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USMC43

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Of course not. If anything, he should be investigated more because he is running for president.
But, but Joe says everyone that has looked into it has found nothing. Would love to find out who all these "EVERYONE" peoples are. Does that include all journos who reported on it being a problem in early 2019?
 
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zeorhymer

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The aid should have never been withheld at all. If I try and kill someone and fail does that mean no crime was committed? The person didn't die so no biggie right? There was a law specifically written to keep presidents from withholding aid congress approved. This also ruins the idea that the aid was held up because Trump was a crusader against corruption. The DOJ said Ukraine met its obligations. Biden was not a consideration nor should he have been.
That's a very very very bad analogy. You are equating attempted murder with withholding a check.
 

belmarduk

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But, but Joe says everyone that has looked into it has found nothing. Would love to find out who all these "EVERYONE" peoples are. Does that include all journos who reported on it being a problem in early 2019?
Nice strawman argument. Would you care to respond to the actual post?
 
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NickFire

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Nice strawman argument. Would you care to respond to the actual post?
Its not a strawman. Its a comment about the reason Trump was asking for an investigation. Completely valid topic when you claim asking for it was bad. Except in Dimmy clown world.