Read The Report To Congress About Whether Trump Broke The Law On Ukraine Sen. Chris Van Hollen asked a federal watchdog, the Government Accountability Office, to assess whether Trump's actions last year had broken a law on handling appropriated funds.
NPR logo Read The Report To Congress About How Trump Broke Budget Law On Ukraine

Read The Report To Congress About How Trump Broke Budget Law On Ukraine

Sen. Chris Van Hollen asked the Government Accountability Office to assess whether President Trump's actions last year had broken a law on handling appropriated funds. Matt Rourke/AP hide caption

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Matt Rourke/AP

Sen. Chris Van Hollen asked the Government Accountability Office to assess whether President Trump's actions last year had broken a law on handling appropriated funds.

Matt Rourke/AP

An important federal watchdog released a report on Thursday concluding President Trump's actions in the Ukraine affair broken a budget law.

House Democrats impeached Trump in part because they said he abused his power in freezing military aid that Congress had allocated to help Ukraine in its war against Russia. Trump asked Ukraine's president to conduct an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential rival for the 2020 election.

Trump and supporters point out not only that the funds eventually were released, but that Ukraine's government didn't agree to investigate.

One outstanding question about the story is whether Trump's order to hold funds appropriated by Congress might have violated a law that prohibits a president from doing that.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., asked the GAO for its view about that question, which was the subject of its report on Thursday.