Trump administration broke law by withholding Ukraine aid, watchdog finds
The White House broke the law by withholding security funds from Ukraine, the US Government Accountability Office says.
The government watchdog said the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) violated the Impoundment Control Act.
The auditor, also known as the GAO, said it was told the funds were withheld to ensure money was not spent "in a manner that could conflict with the President's foreign policy".
However, its decision added: "The law does not permit OMB to withhold funds for policy reasons.
"The President has narrow, limited authority to withhold appropriations under the Impoundment Control Act of 1974."
Its 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."
It will come as a blow for President Trump ahead of his impeachment trial, which the House of Representatives voted to trigger on Wednesday.
The vote was 228-193, coming at the start of a presidential election year and one month after the House impeached Mr Trump on charges of abuse of power over his pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden as Mr Trump withheld aid from the country.
Mr Trump was also charged with obstructing Congress’ ensuing probe.
The seven-member prosecution team will be led by the chairmen of the House impeachment proceedings, Adam Schiff of the intelligence committee and Jerry Nadler of the judiciary committee, two of Ms Pelosi’s top lieutenants for only the third presidential impeachment in the nation’s history.
Ahead of ...
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