Breaking: The Trump Administration has committed some crimes, probably! According to a new report from the Government Accountability Office, the White House budget office broke the law at Trump’s direction after freezing $400 million in military spending to Ukraine last year. Much of the House impeachment inquiry last year rested on this devision, which many saw as a gross violation of presidential authority, and a blatant attempt to influence the upcoming election.
If true, this contradicts the Trump administration’s assertion that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) acted within the law when it followed Trump’s orders to withhold Congressional spending in Ukraine. It states:
“An appropriations act is a law like any other; therefore, unless Congress has enacted a law providing otherwise, the president must take care to ensure that appropriations are prudently obligated during their period of availability,” the decision says. [...]The Constitution grants the president no unilateral authority to withhold funds from obligation.”
NBC reports that in response, Senator Patrick Leahy of the Senate Appropriations Committee commented: “I have never seen such a damning report in my life. I mean, this is a nonpartisan thing. I read it twice. ... To have something saying this is such a total disrespect of the law. It’s unprecedented.” However, republican senators have rebuked the reports conclusion, including Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby, who said: “I wouldn’t think that a GAO opinion, per se, would change anything. But we’ll listen to it, we’ll look at it and we’ll evaluate it. I don’t think they should be deciding who broke the law.”
Question: If the Government Accountability Office should not decide “who broke the law,” then will the Senate? It isn’t hard to see that some sort of crime was committed by Trump and his various crime guys! Regardless, Senate Majority Leader and noted herb Mitch McConnell seems more unwilling than ever to budge on removing Trump from office, despite all the damning evidence that surfaced this week alone. [NBC News]
In what is hopefully the death knells of his campaign, a very flustered seeming Joe Biden has pivoted to throwing out the names of potential vice presidents in a bid to regain relevancy. Politico reports that in an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Biden claimed he was considering both Beto O’Rourke or Julián Castro as potential running mates should he secure the Democratic nomination.
Despite this, Castro seems preoccupied with his continued Twitter campaign to secure a spot in a potential Warren administration. And didn’t O’Rourke say something about wanting to raise his children, or something? Anyway, Biden’s “plea” to the former candidates is that they “stay engaged,” because they are “talented, talented people.”
Casting a wide net, Biden also hinted that he’s considered Kamala Harris for Vice President. Has he talked to her about that though? Something tells me he should, before plopping all his eggs in that basket. Besides, O’Rourke probably has plenty of free time in between all that skateboarding and channel surfing! [Politico]
Do y’all hear something?
I’m being serious, did y’all hear something?
- Speaking of, Mayo Pete chatted with the Times’ editorial board about mayonnaise. [New York Times]
- Pete Buttigieg conducted polling with notoriously exploitative gig-work platform. [The Intercept]
- I guess ranting about lightbulbs is a thing that nazis love to do! [Washington Post]
- Bernie is rolling in endorsements in Nevada; he got one from the Clark County Black Caucus today. [CBS]
- Captain America reinvented Wikipedia because politics are hard. [Wired]
- Bring out the guillotine! [CNN]
- Bloomberg really, really wants women to know he isn’t a pig. [Reuters]
- The revolving door in and out of the White House keeps on spinning. [ProPublica]
- A coalition of states has stepped up to defend food stamps from Trump. [Washington Post]