GAO said Barack Obama broke the law in 2014 but no calls for impeachment


In 2014, then-President Barack Obama arranged a trade of five Taliban prisoners in GITMO for deserter Bowe Bergdahl. Obama never ran it by Congress, although he had time to do so despite his claims to the contrary.

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle were skeptical of Obama’s claims that he had to hurry due to Bergdahl’s health. Upon his return, it turned out his health was not endangered.

The GAO, a legislative body called the Government Accounting Office, came out with a report claiming the Administration did, in fact, violate the law by not notifying Congress.

The President reallocated funds for the transfer (bribe), an action that was also illegal.

The department violated a law that prohibits federal employees from spending money not authorized by Congress. “DOD should report its Antideficiency Act violation as required by law,” the GAO said.


At the time of the swap, President Barack Obama defended the move, saying the U.S. has a “sacred rule” not to leave men and women in uniform behind.

“We saw an opportunity,” Mr. Obama said on June 3. “We were concerned about Sgt. Bergdahl’s health. We had the cooperation of the Qataris to execute an exchange, and we seized that opportunity.”

The Defense Department notified Congress of the transfer in writing on May 31, after the fact.

According to the GAO letter, the department said its actions complied with the law and, in any event, the relevant portion of the law is unconstitutional as applied to the Bergdahl transfer.

Providing notice “would have interfered with the executive’s performance of two related functions that the Constitution assigns to the President: protecting the lives of Americans abroad and protecting U.S. service members,” the department said in reply to a GAO inquiry.

The watchdog didn’t weigh in on the constitutionality of the law but noted that it had been signed by the president.

Most presidents believe the law is unconstitutional, but still, he also reallocated funds.

George Washington Law Professor Jonathan Turley said “the duty to inform Congress could have been easily satisfied and it was not even necessary to violate the law in order to carry out the exchange. It seems more likely that this was done for political purposes to avoid opposition in Congress.”


“The GAO found the obvious violation and added that the Pentagon broke another law by using funds that were not technically available. The GAO also concluded that the Obama Administration violated the Antideficiency Act, barring spending by agencies above the amount of money that Congress has obligated,” Turley said.

No one called for his impeachment. Why is that? Oh, right, he is a Democrat.



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