Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), a nonpartisan watchdog agency, issued an opinion that the Trump administration’s hold on military aid to Ukraine violated the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act. Witness testimony and recently released documents show that the Trump White House was warned of the illegality of its actions but continued to hold the funding anyway, while hiding the effort from Congress and the American people.
Sam Berger, vice president for Democracy and Government Reform at the Center for American Progress and a former top official at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the Obama administration, issued the following statement:
This decision further invalidates President Trump’s claim that he withheld the aid because of worries about corruption in Ukraine. Trump didn’t hold this funding because of concerns about “corruption”; Trump broke the law to help himself. The Trump White House ignored the concerns raised by officials in the Department of Defense and sought to hide their actions from Congress and the American people. The U.S. Senate must demand witnesses and documents to get more information about this illegal hold and the effort to cover it up.
- “Trump’s Hold on Ukrainian Military Aid was Illegal“
- “Federal Criminal Offenses and the Impeachment of Donald J. Trump,” Chapter 8: “The Impoundment Act (non-criminal law)”
- “Ukrainian Funding Delay Created a Paper Trail That Congress Should Follow“
For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at gro.ssergorpnacirema@ssierpa or 202.478.6331.