Center for American Progress

Holding up Ukraine aid was illegal. Trump’s White House knew before GAO said so.
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Holding up Ukraine aid was illegal. Trump’s White House knew before GAO said so.

Author Sam Berger explains how the U.S. Government Accountability Office's investigation confirms that President Trump's delayed release of military assistance to Ukraine was about leveraging taxpayer-funded military aid to advance his own agenda, undercutting two pillars of his impeachment defense.

Authors

  • Sam Berger

A cornerstone of President Trump’s impeachment defense is the argument that his administration delayed the release of congressionally appropriated military assistance to Ukraine because of his concerns about corruption in that country. Another is that the articles of impeachment being considered by the Senate don’t deal with illegal conduct.

But a decision released Thursday by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO), a federal agency that oversees the use of taxpayer funds, undercuts both of these specious defenses: It explains in detail why the hold was unlawful, and it further illustrates that the White House knew — or should have known — that the hold was illegal, but went ahead and did it anyway.

The above excerpt was originally published in The Washington Post. Click here to view the full article.

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Authors

Sam Berger

Vice President, Democracy and Government Reform