Here's a funny thing that happened on the way to the Senate impeachment trial, which officially got underway with much formality yesterday: The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its finding that yes, Trump's hold on Ukraine aid was CRIME CRIME CRIME CRIME CRIME. Just like all those impeachment witnesses said people all over Defense and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) thought it was!


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

CRIME. Just because a law has a boring name like Impoundment Control Act (ICA) or "emoluments" doesn't mean it is not CRIME.

That finding came out Thursday morning, before Chief Justice John Roberts and the senators took their oath. CRIME.

As TPM explains, Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland requested the GAO take a look, and now that the finding is out, we can say with certainty that there is one more CRIME for impeachment managers to argue in Trump's impeachment trial for high CRIMES and misdemeanors.

And because the GOP is really nothing more than a CRIME syndicate with bad hair and Big Lots suits these days, the GOP's reaction to this is that it is fine with CRIME. You know, as long as President CRIMEY is doing it.

Here's House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-"I think there's two people Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump") arguing with a straight face that it is fine for Trump to do CRIME, because of how he was really seriously trying to fight "corruption" in Ukraine lololololol, and besides, Trump's OMB, led by Mick "GET OVER IT" Mulvaney, doesn't think it's CRIME, so:

Responses from GOP senators weren't much better.

Senator John Cornyn: "[O]bviously it is not directed at the president; it's the Office of Management and Budget, with whom I've had a few disagreements over the years about the withholding of money that's been appropriated by Congress."

Oh you betcha! The OMB just went rogue and did this all by itself! Of course, that is not what literal actual unredacted Trump administration emails say. They say the order came from the top.

The Washington Post reports that when Cornyn was reminded of that fact, he continued to idiot around and justify Trump's CRIME:

When a reporter told Cornyn that multiple current and former Trump officials have testified that the hold was at the direction of the president, he continued to demur: "The GAO report identifies the OMB, not the president, and it says it was for 'policy reasons,' not for political reasons. … I don't think that changes anything."

Fucker.

As for other asshole GOP senators:

Senator Rand Paul: "I think they misunderstand the law. I think presidents withhold money all the time, move money around."

Senator Richard Shelby, who chairs the ... *checks notes* ... Senate Appropriations Committee, which appropriated this money in the first place: "I don't recall that somebody at GAO has ever said, 'So and so has broken the law, and this and that' [...] They're becoming like they're trying to influence what we're doing. I think they shouldn't get into that."

Yeah, what a very dumb GAO, saying something is a crime just because a United States senator asked them to look at it and they found it was indeed a crime, just like many members of the Trump administration itself thought!

Senator Roy Blunt: "I have no context of how many GAO reports over the last 20 years might have reached similar conclusion that the law was violated." Silly GAO, always saying here a CRIME, there a CRIME, everywhere a CRIME CRIME!

Look, the point is that Trump did CRIME and all these shitrockets know it, and they don't care. After all, as Fox News brilliant legal mind Andy McCarthy argued this week, part of being president is that you gotta abuse your power once in a while or every day fifty times before breakfast. Keeps the president's balls loose!

Or something.

And if that involves committing a wee handful/metric shit ton of actual CRIME, well then so be it.

[Talking Points Memo / ibid.. / Washington Post]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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