This GAO opinion reeks of Deep State intervention into the Democrats’ impeachment of President Trump. Today, the Government Accountability Office, Congress’s watchdog office, issued an opinion stating that the Trump administration had broken the law by temporarily withholding lethal military aid to Ukraine. The GAO specifically stated that the Trump administration had violated the “Impoundment Control Act.

Anyone who knows the Constitution knows that Article II gives the Executive Branch sole authority on foreign policy. Further, as James Freeman points out, the GAO’s boss is the Legislative Branch. Quoting from Freeman’s article, “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.”

According to the gospel of Schoolhouse Rock, the Legislative Branch isn’t equipped to render verdicts. At best, the Legislative Branch might be authorized to offer an opinion on legal matters but that opinion is purely advisory. It isn’t the type of thing that has legal weight behind it. It shouldn’t be surprising to find out that the Deep State is attempting to tip the Senate’s trial of President Trump’s impeachment in the Democrats’ favor. This is how we know that’s what’s happening:

At the urging of Sen. Chris Van Hollen, (D-MD), GAO now says that Trump administration delays in sending aid to Ukraine were illegal. 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.

Again, the Executive Branch doesn’t obey the Legislative Branch. If that were reality, then we wouldn’t have a constitutional republic. We’d have a parliamentary system in which the president would serve the Parliament. That isn’t the system we have. Our system is one that insists upon co-equal branches of government.

The GAO counsel didn’t have the authority to say this:

“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law. OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act. The withholding was not a programmatic delay. Therefore, we conclude that OMB violated the ICA.”

That isn’t the GAO’s decision to make. The appropriation was spent with time to spare. The GAO admitted that. This was done to give Democrats a fresh talking point. Even if the GAO is right about this potential infraction, at best, this wouldn’t be a high crime, which the Constitution requires to impeach.

Despite this declaration, we haven’t seen proof that this isn’t a president exercising his authority in setting foreign policy. That constitutional question is something that a federal court would need to sort through. It isn’t something that the GAO can unilaterally decide.

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