- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 16, 2020

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defended President Trump on Thursday after Congress’ official legal branch concluded that his hold on military aid for Ukraine violated the law.

Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, argued the administration was being careful with taxpayer dollars intended to help a country that has a history of corruption.

“I think it was the right thing to do,” he told reporters at his weekly press conference.

Democrats, meanwhile, said it bolstered their impeachment case against the president.

Mr. Trump is accused of freezing the aid to pressure Ukraine into opening investigations into an unsubstantiated theory about the 2016 election interference and his political rival, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden.

The administration maintains the aid was not linked to the investigations but was held up because Mr. Trump wanted to ensure Ukraine was reining in corruption.

The GAO has dinged other presidents in the past for misuse of congressional appropriated funds, but typically for spending money they didn’t have rather than holding on to funds.

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