• GAO says in report withholding for ‘policy reasons’ violates law
  • House prosecutors to arrive at Senate to formally open trial
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3.42pm GMT

An eight-page report by the independent government watchdog GAO said the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) “withheld funds for a policy reasons” in the Ukraine affair, which violated the law.

The GAO’s central argument is the White House can’t unilaterally decide to withhold foreign aid that has been appropriated by Congress. An OMB spokesperson said the office disagreed with the watchdog’s findings.

Let’s be clear: There is no @USGAO police that can go prosecute White House officials for violating Impoundment Control Act. GAO works for Congress.

But the ruling becomes a fresh cudgel for Dems just as senators being sworn in to decide whether Trump abused his power

3.21pm GMT

An independent government watchdog, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), said the White House budget office violated the law when it froze US military aid to Ukraine.

“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 report said.

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