by Rod D. Martin & Matt Wilson
January 16, 2020

The GAO’s accusation that impounding Ukrainian aid for FOUR DAYS is a crime is absolutely ludicrous, and yet another example of a supposedly “nonpartisan” agency playing politics. 

Matt Wilson explains below why this supposed impoundment isn’t a crime. I would suggest that FOUR DAYS isn’t even an impoundment.

But more importantly, I believe this is a legitimate question for the courts, as is the assertion of Executive Privilege which the Democrats are disingenuously calling “Obstruction of Congress” (whatever that’s supposed to mean), because…

… the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 is a grossly unconstitutional infringement on the powers of the Executive Branch.

Now you may disagree. And you might be right.

But what is certain is that the Act increases one Branch’s power and at the expense of a co-equal Branch, and attempts to take away a right Presidents had exercised and everyone had believed constitutional since George Washington.

If Washington was wrong, that’s an issue for the Court to decide, not to be litigated through impeachment.

The Democrats aren’t interested in that, and did not file suit, just as they did not seek an answer from the Court on the legitimate legal question regarding their attempted enormous curtailment of Executive Privilege. Moreover, they took the opposite tack with Obama.

No, this is an enormous attempted power grab, seeking through impeachment to set precedents they don’t believe they could win legitimately, and would not dream of enforcing against one of their own.

As in so many other things, an entire major party has declared war on the rule of law. Let them continue in this vein and the Republic is done.


From attorney Matt Wilson: “Today the Government Accountability Office (GAO) accused President Trump of breaking the law by holding up aid for Ukraine that had been appropriated by Congress. 

“The statute in question that Trump is said to have violated is the Impoundment Control Act of 1974. Essentially this law says that if monies are appropriated for a given purpose, then the monies must be spent. 

“A little background is in order. Every President from Jefferson to Nixon would impound funds from time to time. (Well, William H. Harrison didn’t, because he fell ill of pneumonia after his inauguration and died 30 days later. But apart from him, this holds true.)

“For example, if the President thought that Congress had appropriated too much money for a given project, the President would simply freeze the excess money. While the surplus could not be spent for any other purpose, until the President lifted the hold, the money would just sit in the federal treasury. 

“By the 1970s, however, Congress had started spending money on great progressive projects. The EPA, the Great Society — these are the first two that come to mind. Nixon began impounding funds, and Congress took exception, passing the Impoundment Control Act over Nixon’s veto. 

“Since then, we have seen a prodigious expansion of the federal government’s debt. After all, if every dime appropriated must be spent — even if not every dine is needed — then just imagine the waste. 

“At any rate, Trump is now being accused of breaking this law when he put Ukraine aid on hold for a few days. 

“Even so, is this…even a crime?

“You see, not every violation of the law — be it technical or substantive — is criminal. 

“Simple parking offenses come to mind. 

“When was the last time someone went to jail because his car was double parked?

“It’s the same here. Impounding funds for Ukraine temporarily — when other federal law also requires certification that Ukraine be in compliance with anti corruption measures — could hardly be considered a crime, let alone a high crime. 

“Our courts are governed by precedents. Similarly, when the Senate acts as an impeachment tribunal, the precedents it sets should govern subsequent impeachments. 

“Twenty-one years ago, Bill Clinton was impeached for committing perjury— a federal crime with clearly defined jail time. This, however, was not enough of a crime to remove him from office. 

“By the Clinton precedent, how then can temporarily impounding funds earmarked for Ukraine be considered a “high crime” when, unlike perjury, it’s not even a crime at all?”

The GAO’s Absurd Accusation originally appeared as a Facebook post by Rod D. Martin.