The Government Accountability Office reported today that Obama violated a “clear and unambiguous” law when he exchanged five Guantanamo Bay detainees for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl earlier this year.
“[The Department of Defense] violated section 8111 because it did not notify the relevant congressional committees at least 30 days in advance of the transfer,” the GAO report reads. “In addition, because DOD used appropriated funds to carry out the transfer when no money was available for that purpose, DOD violated the Antideficiency Act. The Antideficiency Act prohibits federal agencies from incurring obligations exceeding an amount available in an appropriation.”
Of course, don’t expect Obama to stop playing golf and run to address this crime – just add this to the list of 76 crimes Senator Ted Cruz published earlier this year.
Obama knows that this government is completely locked down with communists, Muslim Brotherhood members and complicit criminals. No, Obama isn’t about to break a sweat, unless it’s on the 18th hole.
The report comes several months after the Obama administration released five senior Taliban members from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Bergdahl, who had disappeared in 2009. Under the exchange terms, the five Taliban are to remain in Qatar for a year.
Lawmakers at the time complained about the security implications of releasing Taliban leaders from Guantanamo, but also about the late notification by the Pentagon that they were going forward with the swap.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, among the lawmakers who requested the report, said Thursday that the president “clearly defied” the law.
“We have all seen the President decide to override the concept of checks and balances in many questionable executive actions, but the GAO opinion confirms that by doing so in connection with the release of Bowe Bergdahl, he engaged in a clear violation of the law,” she said in a statement. “I hope this opinion by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office sends a clear signal to the President that his recent shift towards unilateral action is not consistent with this nation’s principles and our carefully designed separation of powers.”
Whether the finding will result in any formal legal complaint remains to be seen. The House Armed Services Committee has prepared a “resolution of disapproval” potentially to be considered later this year about the swap, but such a measure is nonbinding.
At issue were recent laws passed by Congress. The latest Defense spending bill states that no money can be used to transfer Guantanamo prisoners to another country “except in accordance” with a separate, related Defense law. That law requires the secretary of Defense to notify key congressional committees at least 30 days before such a transfer.
The swap occurred May 31 of this year. However, the GAO report said those committees were only notified between May 31 and June 2.