No Quid Pro Quo-Because Trump Didn’t Control the Aid

President Trump had no control over the release of the U.S. military aid to the Ukraine—so how can it be part of some quid pro quo scheme?

It can’t be.

What has been conveniently overlooked in the whole Whistleblower complaint fiasco—Donald Trump had no control over the release of the U.S. military aid package to the Ukraine.

Yes, President Trump would ultimately intervene ordering the OMB to place a hold on the U.S. aid—but in truth, he was forced by the actions of others.

Congress had inserted language into the individual pieces of legislation that created the $391 million in U.S. military aid to the Ukraine that required certain criteria be met.

Those criteria were never met, in large part because there was no functioning Ukrainian legislature at the time the aid was released to the DoD and State Department.

In addition, President Trump had signed each piece of legislation into law—therefore, it was his responsibility to see to it the law was followed—to the letter.

This is the crux of the issue—the two entities responsible for the funds that made up the Ukrainian security and assistance package—needed to meet the requirements placed on those funds by Congress.

They failed.

Still, it was the Department of Defense (DoD) and State Department who controlled the release of the Ukrainian aid, not the White House.

Under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 2019) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019, the DoD and State Department were allotted $250 million and $141 million respectively in military aid for distribution to the Ukraine.

These funds were under the direct control of the DoD and State Department—not the President.

However, it is ultimately up to the Executive Branch to make sure legislation signed into law is enforced.

As President Harry S. Truman eloquently stated—the buck stops here.

Mr. Truman’s statement sums up the reality of the office of Presidency—it is ultimately up to the President to enforce the rule of law.

The buck stops here.

—Harry S. Truman

If the DoD and State Department had fulfilled their obligations to Congress—President Trump could not have intervened.

In fact, Donald Trump could not have directed the OMB to put a hold on the aid package—if all the constraints placed on that aid by Congress had been met.

That’s the law.

It was the failures of the DoD and State Department that forced the President to react. This was not a premeditated scheme of quid pro quo—and never was—it was always about upholding the law.