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Utopia Talk / Politics / Shocking! Trump broke the law.
Thu Jan 16 12:06:13
We understand that Trumpicantards defends their leader at every cost as they cannot for ethical practices or decency. But this should not come as a surprise that Trump broke the law when he order the freeze on the money that congress approved to go to Ukraine.

Shocking! Of course our resident Trumpicantards will make every attempt to justify this while at the same time play the whataboutism card.

Trumpicantards rejoice as they perpetuate and remain as enablers.
Thu Jan 16 12:15:12
I'm sure it's a pure coincidence that this landed exactly at the same time as the articles were transferred.

Anyway, OMB says GAO is wrong and it's pretty insane to assume that the executive branch has zero discretionary power on the matter, especially since the aid in fact was transmitted during the fiscal year. So we'll see what the Senate's opinion of who's right is.
the wanderer
Thu Jan 16 12:29:08
OMB guy (Sandy) expressed concern they were breaking the law

Mulvaney expressed concern they were breaking the law

(obviously Trump expressed no concern when all the people were urging him to stop breaking the law but i guess the whistleblower was enough to nudge him into compliance)
Thu Jan 16 17:17:39
Trump Receives Another Postcard from the Swamp

Now the bureaucrats at the Government Accountability Office are opining on Ukraine.

By James Freeman
Jan. 16, 2020 4:04 pm ET

The House impeachment hearings ended a month ago, but congressional Democrats aren’t done inviting bureaucrats to share their negative opinions of President Donald Trump. Now it’s the turn of the Government Accountability Office.

Traditionally GAO does its best to serve its congressional bosses. This is not a swipe at these particular swamp dwellers. Yes, the current head of GAO was nominated by President Barack Obama after a congressional commission presented a list of candidates. But the Supreme Court has explicitly found that GAO is subservient to the legislative branch. The 1986 decision is called Bowsher v. Synar. GAO staff try their best to satisfy requests from legislators.

At the urging of Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D., Maryland), GAO now says that Trump administration delays in sending aid to Ukraine were illegal. For people who aren’t students of the Washington bureaucracy, it should be noted that few people consider GAO the authoritative word on legal issues. The Justice Department and ultimately of course the federal courts make the big calls.

In a new letter GAO’s general counsel argues that even though the Trump administration made aid for Ukraine available last September 12—before the Sept. 30 deadline for obligating funds—it still should have happened earlier. It’s not entirely clear which date would have made GAO happy but in the agency’s view the White House did not have an unavoidable “programmatic delay” which prevented funds from going to Ukraine.

Just for the sake of argument, let’s assume that GAO is correct now. Wouldn’t the logic of this decision also apply to Vice President Joe Biden’s famous withholding of Ukraine aid until the local prosecutor investigating his son’s company was fired?

Since this latest GAO missive is being used by those arguing for the removal of a President, it’s also worth reviewing a few recent episodes which did not result in the removal of a President.

In 2014 the Associated Press reported:

The Pentagon broke the law when it swapped Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a prisoner in Afghanistan for five years, for five Taliban leaders, congressional investigators said Thursday.

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office said the Defense Department failed to notify the relevant congressional committees at least 30 days in advance of the exchange - a clear violation of the law - and used $988,400 of a wartime account to make the transfer. The GAO also said the Pentagon’s use of funds that hadn’t been expressly appropriated violated the Antideficiency Act.

“In our view, the meaning of the (law) is clear and unambiguous,” the GAO wrote to nine Republican senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and various committees. “Section 8111 prohibits the use of ‘funds appropriated or otherwise made available’ in the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014, to transfer any individual detained at Guantanamo Bay to the custody or control of a foreign entity’ except in accordance” with the law.

It’s also difficult to remember any ceremonial pens or somber walking of impeachment articles after Eric Lipton and Michael D. Shear of the New York Times reported in 2015:

The Environmental Protection Agency engaged in “covert propaganda” and violated federal law when it blitzed social media to urge the public to back an Obama administration rule intended to better protect the nation’s streams and surface waters, congressional auditors have concluded.

The ruling by the Government Accountability Office, which opened its investigation after a report on the agency’s practices in The New York Times, drew a bright line for federal agencies experimenting with social media about the perils of going too far to push a cause. Federal laws prohibit agencies from engaging in lobbying and propaganda.

“I can guarantee you that general counsels across the federal government are reading this report,” said Michael Eric Hertz, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York who has written on social media and the government.

This column can’t guarantee that any U.S. citizens remember where they were the moment they learned about another Associated Press report in 2016. According to the A.P.’’s Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar:

The Obama administration failed to follow its own health reform law in a $5 billion dispute over compensating insurers for high costs from seriously ill patients, Congress’ investigative arm says.

The opinion from the Government Accountability Office is a setback for the White House and bolsters Republican complaints that administration officials bent the law as problems arose carrying out its complex provisions.

As for today’s opinion, the relevant facts were known to Members of the House when they drafted their impeachment articles. If duly elected officials in neither party were willing to allege the President broke the law, why should we take the opinion of the bureaucrats?

Thu Jan 16 18:10:08
One agency says he did, the other says he didn't ...its up the Senate.
the wanderer
Thu Jan 16 19:04:13
the agency saying he didn't is run by his lackey... who confessed... and is hiding from testifying under order of the criminal fraud child dictator
Thu Jan 16 19:20:10
Ok Rosie.
the wanderer
Thu Jan 16 21:09:12
just giving factual info
smart dude
Thu Jan 16 23:30:48
Again Paramount exposes his own multi via his good-but-not-native command of English. That and his obsession with the United States.
smart dude
Thu Jan 16 23:32:29
Call it "American privilege" if you want, but it's so nice not giving a shit about the minutiae of what goes on in other countries.
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