A federal monitor has said that the White House violated the law by withdrawing assistance to Ukraine that had been authorized by the US Congress.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) decision is a threat to President Donald Trump when he awaits Senate impeachment trial. He is suspected of blocking Ukrainian funding to induce a political rival to prosecute.
Why has aid been illegally freezing?
“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 GAO decision states.
The decision added “the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) withheld funding for a policy purpose that is not authorized under the Impoundment Control Act (ICA).
Ukraine also opened an investigation into specific charges connected to the impeachment.
The White House said it disagreed with the view of the GAO, accusing the department of an attempt to “insert themselves into the media’s controversy of the day”
Republicans welcomed the decision. Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, who demanded an inquiry from the GAO, said on Twitter: “The public evidence shows that the president himself ordered this illegal act.”
Mr. Parnas told NBC News that the only motivation to have Ms. Yovanovitch removed was that she was in the way of the effort to get Ukraine to announce an investigation into former Vice-President Joe Biden.
Mr. Biden is a potential Democratic rival to Mr. Trump in this year’s US election.
Ms. Yovanovitch has called for an investigation into the messages.
“The notion that American citizens and others were monitoring [her] movements… is disturbing,” her lawyer said.
Mr. Parnas assured NBC News that the only reason for removing Ms. Yovanovitch was that she was in the way of trying to get Ukraine to launch an inquiry into former Vice President Joe Biden.
Mr. Biden is a possible Democratic opponent for Mr. Trump in the US election this year.
Mrs. Yovanovitch has asked for an inquiry into the texts.
“The notion that American citizens and others were monitoring[ her] movements… is disturbing,” said her counsel.
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