Latest News 15-02-2024 06:34 5 Views

Mike Pence’s think tank pushes back on JD Vance’s ‘impeachment time bomb’ claim in foreign aid package

Former Vice President Mike Pence's policy think tank, Advancing American Freedom (AAF), sent a memo to senators Wednesday pushing back against Sen. JD Vance's theory that the $95 billion foreign aid package contains an 'impeachment' clause for the next administration hidden in its text.

AAF's memo comes after Vance circulated a memo ahead of the national security supplemental package vote Monday arguing the bill includes a provision that could be grounds to impeach former President Donald Trump if he wins the White House again. 

The text assures the delivery of $1.6 billion to finance Ukraine's military as well as just under $14 billion for Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative through Sept. 30, 2025 – the same aid mechanism that Trump temporarily paused while pushing for an investigation into Biden family foreign business dealings. 

'The president’s duty to faithfully execute the law is written into the Constitution,' AAF's memo reads. 'It’s not an ‘impeachment time bomb’ created by the foreign aid package.'

A spokesperson for Vance told Fox News Digital that the AAF memo repeated talking points circulated by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a long-time advocate of aid to Ukraine. 

'It's unfortunate to see Mike Pence adopting Mitch McConnell's talking points and advocating for a bill that would tie the next president's hands on Ukraine. Their America Last foreign policy has been rejected by Republican voters,' the spokesperson said.

According to the memo, AAF argues that the Constitution mandates the president to faithfully execute laws, rejecting attempts from lawmakers to interpret this as permission to ignore statutes. 

The Impoundment Control Act ensures Congress controls funding, requiring presidential notification and approval for cuts within a 45-day timeframe. Congress wields the power of the purse, the AAF memo states, despite changes in administrations. 

'Congress routinely appropriates funds across presidential terms,' the memo reads. 'Following the argument to its logical conclusion, all advance appropriations are ‘impeachment time bombs.’'

'The Trump-Pence administration sold weapons to Ukraine that the Obama-Biden administration refused to,' the memo continued. 'It also countered Putin’s influence by blocking Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which President Biden green-lighted.'

Meanwhile, Vance's memo claimed that the supplemental bill 'represents an attempt by the foreign policy blob/deep state to stop President Trump from pursuing his desired policy, and if he does so anyways, to provide grounds to impeach him and undermine his administration.'

Trump has promised he would end the war in Ukraine within 24 hours if he is elected president. 

The Trump administration, through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), withheld a total of about $400 million in security assistance from Ukraine in 2019. This came just before Trump asked Ukrainian President Voldomyr Zelenskyy to investigate the family of his 2020 rival, Joe Biden, and while the White House allegedly was withholding an Oval Office visit from Zelenskyy in exchange for an investigation.

These actions are what fueled the impeachment effort against Trump, in which he was ultimately acquitted. 

Mark Paoletta, former OMB general counsel during the Trump administration, told Fox News Digital in a statement this week that the clause in the bill text is an 'effort to inappropriately tie President Trump’s hands in his next term by locking in Ukraine funding for multiple years.' 

Last week, AAF praised the bill for its continued assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, but bashed the billions of dollars earmarked for 'non-lethal' aid, such as 'direct budget support' to Ukraine. It also criticized the bill for not including H.R 2, the House's border security policy passed last year that would crack down on asylum screenings and restore most Trump-era restrictions at the southern border. 


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