Newly released unredacted documents state that the military aid for Ukraine was withheld at the explicit direction of the president of the United States. An email from Michael Duffey at the Office of Management and Budget to the Pentagon states: “Clear direction from POTUS to continue to hold.”

How can it be that Senate Republicans want no witnesses nor documents presented at the Senate impeachment trial in light of this email from Donald Trump’s own appointee at the OMB?

It is now clear that Trump’s actions broke the law. The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 requires that once an appropriation has been passed by Congress and signed into law, the president cannot withhold it without Congress formally approving the president’s request.

It was illegal for Trump to withhold the military aid even if he had not asked the Ukrainians for anything of personal or political value.

Supreme Court precedent implies that Trump’s impoundment of the funds is also unconstitutional. The court claims the president is obligated to enact the full scope of programs legally mandated by Congress.

President Trump violated the law. He is not above the law. He is not above the Constitution. He is not above Congress. How can it be that Senate Republicans want to look the other way and ignore this president’s actions?

JERRY HANSON

Elkhorn

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