A nonpartisan government watchdog agency said Thursday that President Trump violated federal law by withholding congressionally approved aid to Ukraine last summer - an action at the heart of the impeachment effort. "Therefore, we conclude that OMB violated the ICA". That amount equates to S$288 million. OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act (ICA)", the Office continued, concluding, "The withholding was not a programmatic delay.
In a decision issued Thursday, the GAO said that the White House budget office violated the Impoundment Control Act, which says that funds appropriated by Congress can not be withheld by the White House. GAO said the withholding was an illegal "deferral" of money appropriated by Congress and ran afoul of a Nixon-era law aimed at ensuring funds are spent according to lawmakers' intent.More news: Jeffrey Epstein accused of trafficking girls as young as 11 in suit
But GAO said that the executive branch can't use that kind of policy reason to withhold funds appropriated by Congress.
House Democrats impeached Trump in part because they said he abused his power in freezing military aid that Congress had allocated to help Ukraine in its war against Russian Federation.
The GAO opinion disagreed, arguing the administration withheld $214 million of the military assistance as a result of nine separate temporary holds.More news: Prithvi Shaw Available For Selection For All Formats Of The Game: BCCI
"This violation of the law reflects a contempt for the Constitution and was a key part of his corrupt scheme to abuse the power of the presidency for his personal political purposes", Mr. Van Hollen said.
The White House budget office told the GAO that the money was withheld because they were reviewing the programs, meaning the delay wasn't subject to the Impoundment Control Act.
Van Hollen in a statement called it a "bombshell legal opinion" that "demonstrates, without a doubt, that the Trump Administration illegally withheld security assistance from Ukraine".More news: Microsoft’s Chromium-Based Edge Browser Is Now Available To Download For macOS
Trump has always maintained he's done nothing illegal.