Read: Watchdog report says White House violated law by withholding Ukraine aid

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Watchdog report says White House violated law by withholding Ukraine aid

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The U.S. Government Accountability Office said Thursday that the White House broke the law last year when it withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid for Ukraine to support President Donald Trump’s foreign policy goals.

Authorities with GAO said officials with the Office of Management and Budget told them the approximately $214 million was withheld to ensure the funds weren't spent "in a manner that could conflict with the President's foreign policy."

"The President has narrow, limited authority to withhold appropriations under the Impoundment Control Act of 1974," officials with the government watchdog agency said Thursday in a statement. "The law does not permit (the Office of Management and Budget) to withhold funds for policy reasons."

The aid in question was released in September after Congress pushed for its release and a whistleblower’s complaint about Trump’s July call with the Ukrainian leader became public. Trump was impeached last month on charges of abusing his power for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democratic rivals, as he was withholding the aid, and for obstructing Congress’ ensuing probe. The Senate is set to begin its trial Thursday.

Read the full report released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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