December 23, 2019

Van Hollen asks GAO for Independent Legal Opinion on ICA and Trump Withholding Aid to Ukraine

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) for an independent legal opinion on whether President Trump broke the law by withholding aid from Ukraine in violation of the Impoundment Control Act (ICA) – in addition to it being a flagrant abuse of power. The letter follows the Senator’s questions to GAO at the Senate Budget Committee on the same issue.

“I am writing to follow up on the questions regarding the Impoundment Control Act (ICA) that I asked you at the Budget Committee hearing on October 30, especially with regard to the withholding of assistance to Ukraine. In response to my questions, you indicated that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) would be doing a legal analysis of the Administration’s withholding and issue an opinion regarding its legality under the ICA.  I am writing to request that GAO now provide that legal opinion,” Senator Van Hollen wrote.

He lays out a detailed case for why he believes President Trump broke the law, concluding, “The Administration has failed to even state a legal reason under the ICA for its withholding of security assistance for Ukraine, and the evidence refutes the Administration’s stated reasons. The Administration must be held accountable for its violations of the ICA, or we will open the floodgates for this and future Administrations to violate the ICA with impunity. I am glad that GAO is looking into this matter, and look forward to your response.”

For the full text of the letter, click here.