It’s shaping up to be yet another terrible news day for President Donald Trump.
First, Ukrainian authorities announced they have launched a criminal investigation into the alleged surveillance of former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch by associates of Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
Now, the U.S. Government Accountability Office has determined that the Trump administration violated federal law by withholding military aide to the Ukraine.
“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,” the GAO wrote in an eight-page report released Thursday morning.
As POLITICO notes in its story on the GAO report, “Several witnesses who testified before House impeachment investigators said President Donald Trump ordered the hold on the critical military assistance.”
NBC News adds: The ruling was released hours before senators were set to be sworn in for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. The House impeached the president for abuse of power, alleging that the president withheld the Ukraine aid for personal and political gain, as well as for obstructing the congressional probe into the hold. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., tweeted that the ruling by the government watchdog demonstrates “without a doubt” that “the president himself ordered this illegal act.