“OBLIGATED UPON APPORTIONMENT”
by Ren Jander, ©2019
In a follow up report on Thursday (Dec. 12th), I detailed how government statutes and practices were followed so that $250 million in Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) funds, and $115 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) funds for Ukraine were, in fact, obligated by mid-June 2019. POTUS never touched this money with a hold or freeze. I debunked Adam Schiff’s lies, and I accused Cooper of intentionally concealing – from Congress and the nation – that Trump did not hold any of this money back from Ukraine.
Apparently, my reporting sounded an alarm within coup factions of the government, as General Counsel of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) responded by forwarding an intentionally fraudulent letter to the General Counsel of the Government Accounting Office (GAO), which appears to be a veiled attempt at protecting Laura Cooper from criminal scrutiny.
The December 12th letter from OMB legal counsel, Mark Paoletta, contains blatant lies directly contradicting my reporting on Cooper’s felonies. I will debunk the OMB letter below, but please note that Paoletta’s letter is also a felony false statement in violation of 18 USC 1001, because it willfully presents false information in an official response to a GAO legal inquiry, specifically alleging the $115 million FMF funds required a Congressional Notification (CN) fifteen days prior to apportionment.
While my previous reporting follows both USAI funds (administered by DoD), and FMF funds (administered by DoS), this report will focus only upon OMB’s recent fraudulent discussion of FMF. All of the $250 million in USAI funds were released and obligated no later than mid-June, but since that money did require statutory congressional notifications (on Feb. 28th, and May 23rd), I do not want to confuse the separate statutory requirements concerning USAI and FMF. The $115 million in FMF cash for Ukraine did not require a CN for it to be apportioned or obligated. OMB counsel, Mark Paoletta, lied in saying it did.
FOLLOW THE FMF MONEY
Before 2019 FMF funds were appropriated by Congress for Ukraine, the Department of State was required to justify its request for Ukraine’s allotment prior to enactment legislation. Congress considered the DoS request then drafted legislation based upon their own considerations as well, and eventually the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 was passed. $115 million to Ukraine for FMF is specifically provided in an allocation table of the Conference Report attached to the legislation. As such, this amount does not require any separate CN prior to apportionment and subsequent obligation. Paoletta’s letter – in a desperately bold falsehood – states that a CN was required prior to apportionment.
My previous report on FMF concerning Cooper’s misleading testimony is a must read now. I proved that the $115 million appropriated for Ukraine in 2019 was “obligated upon apportionment” according to the DoS appropriations act. Paoletta’s letter was forced to confront this legal truth. But instead of clearing President Trump – by reinforcing our proof that all Ukraine FMF funds were obligated when transferred to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) account by March 2019 – Paoletta lied to the GAO’s General Counsel by inventing, out of thin air, a non-existent statutory requirement that DoS issue a CN fifteen-days before apportioning the FMF funds. Here’s the lie (in bold) as it appears in the December 12 OMB letter:
“Additionally, in FY 2019, $5.9 billion was provided to State in a lump sum appropriation for the Foreign Military Financing Program (FMF) account (TAPS 1 1-1082/2019). Within this total, $115 million was earmarked for Ukraine in the conference report for the State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill. FMF funds are obligated upon apportionment, consistent with the proviso under the FMF heading in the annual appropriations acts providing that ‘funds made available under this heading shall be obligated upon apportionment in accordance with paragraph (5)(C) of section 1501(a) of title 31, United States Code.’ However, the funding cannot be obligated and, therefore, cannot be apportioned until after the statutory Congressional Notification (CN) period of 15 days is complete. The CN for this $115 million was submitted to Congress on September 11, 2019, and the funds were apportioned and obligated on September 30, 2019.” (Emphasis added.)
This is one of the boldest lies I have ever seen. It’s quite stunning actually. That OMB thinks it can get away with it is frightening. The reason FMF money is “obligated upon apportionment” flows from its nature as a grant. According to 1501(a)(5)(C), grants become obligations upon documentation the grant has been made. Congress grants the FMF funds in the appropriation.
31 US Code 1513(b)(1)(B) requires Executive Branch appropriations to be apportioned no later than thirty days after the date of enactment of the law by which the appropriation is made available. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 was signed by President Trump on February 15, 2019. No later than thirty days after, the $115 million in FMF funds were apportioned, and said funds were then legally obligated immediately by operation of law.
Paoletta claims this process is interrupted by a statutory requirement that Congress be notified before FMF apportionment can happen. But he does not cite any statute. This is because no such statute exists. OMB is lying to your face, and everyone familiar with this money knows that.
The Ukraine FMF funds went directly into the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) trust fund account for Ukraine prior to the need for any specific commitment. If a statute requires a CN, it also requires a description of the use to which the funds will be made. FMF funds do not require notice of any specified commitment before being transferred to the DSCA, the entity that controls the FMS trust fund account. This is made clear in Chapter 9 of the Security Assistance Management Manual (SAMM), which makes no mention of a CN requirement:
“C188.8.131.52.2.1.4. Apportionment. Upon receipt of the DoS program approval and apportionment request document, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issues an apportionment document to DSCA. For FMF direct loans, the apportionment document provides DSCA with an apportionment of appropriated funds equal to the principal amount of the loan. FMF grant funds are obligated upon apportionment.”
FMF funds, because they are immediately obligated upon apportionment, do not require any specific commitment to any specific program prior to apportionment/obligation. Chapter 2 of the SAMM states:
“C184.108.40.206.3. Uncommitted Funds. Funding provided under FMF grant-aid is obligated upon apportionment and the funds remain available in the country’s FMF Trust account indefinitely. However, annual budget submissions must explain the accumulation of uncommitted funds in the trust account. Uncommitted funds can weaken SCO justification for future FMF. SCOs should monitor and manage SA programs to insure against the accumulation of uncommitted funds.”
If the FMF funds required a CN detailing their commitment, then the FMF funds could never be “uncommitted”. The notion that a general CN requirement prevents apportionment until the funds are committed, and cleared, after a fifteen-day notification to Congress, is a terrible lie. You will find no such statute in our laws. If any such statute or regulation did exist, OMB counsel would have cited to it in the December 12th letter. They failed to do so.
The stakes upon which this lie was made must be of such staggering consequence to the people at OMB, DoS, and DoD that they chose to accept the risk of exposure. Their very freedom must depend upon selling this lie. It appears the coup is engaged in a seditious conspiracy to overthrow a duly elected President. And the stakes for that criminal offense are much greater than perjury/false statements.
FMF FUNDS DO NOT EXPIRE
Please note that SAMM also clarifies that FMF funds do not expire after one year. Schiff’s coup inquisitors keep insisting that all of the Ukraine security funds were set to expire on September 30th. Not true. As I explained in great detail previously, FMF become multi-year grants that do not expire, so there was no great urgency to spend these funds before the end of FY19. Chapter 9 of the SAMM covers this:
“C220.127.116.11.3. Expenditure of FMF Funds. Transfers of FMF funds to the FMS Trust Fund account are expenditure transfers. Once transferred, FMF funds are expended and remain available indefinitely within the FMS Trust Fund for disbursements consistent with the purposes for which they were appropriated, obligated, and expended.”
Congress appropriates FMF money for a very specific purpose prior to enactment. By its very nature, the grant is used for foreign military financing. That is the purpose for granting FMF. Ukraine is required to be part of this process. They must send a Letter of Request (LOR) to DSCA asking to use the FMF cash for certain items. This money is used for Ukraine on an as needed basis. Needs change. So rather than forcing Ukraine to spend it fast, perhaps wastefully, FMF goes directly into the FMS trust fund held by DSCA (as an “expenditure transfer”), and it remains on the books as an obligation owed by the government until needed. Then it is immediately available when necessary, not subject to Congressional delay for approval.
You cannot hold that which you do not have. FMF money is released upon apportionment, prior to any certain commitment. Once it is transferred to DSCA, it remains in trust for Ukraine. End of story. Nobody touched that money after March, in that Trump never held even one penny of this money from Ukraine. He could not get at that DSCA administered FMS trust fund unless he literally hacked into it. This did not happen. It could not happen. Anyone claiming it did happen is lying to you.
ANOTHER OMB LIE
In the December 12th letter, Paoletta crafts a strangely worded sentence that appears to indicate the 2018 FMF Ukraine money was also held until late September last year pending Congressional approval:
“The timing of the obligation of conference report language earmarked Ukraine FY 2019 funding was similar to the timing of the earmarked FY 2018 Ukraine funding, which was obligated on September 28, 2018.”
This bureaucratic double-speak is easily discredited, when you take note that in FY18 the FMF for Ukraine was used to purchase $47 million worth of Javelin missiles (See Deposition of Laura Cooper, pgs. 96-97). Since the multi-million dollar cost of this purchase triggered a CN requirement under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), a separate CN was necessary in March 2018. Congress did not object, and Ukraine got their missiles in April of 2018. Obviously, the $47 million FMF expense was obligated well before the case was closed in April, not six months later in September. OMB is lying.
By way of comparison, the Sept. 11, 2019 CN concerning the increase in FMF from $115 million to $141.5 million, makes no mention of the AECA. In my previous report, I explained in great detail that the September 11th CN states that it is being sent to Congress pursuant to 634A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, and Section 7015 of the State Department appropriations act of 2019. Section 634A requires Congressional notification when the Executive Branch seeks to reprogram funds from one account to another.
In this case, $26.5 million was being taken from a 2018 carry-over appropriation regarding a separate account not belonging to Ukraine, and therefore Congress must be notified of the reprogramming. And since $26.5 million is more than ten percent of the $115 million total FMF appropriated to Ukraine in the Conference Report accompanying the 2019 DoS appropriations act, that increase also required a CN pursuant to Sec. 7015 of that act. This is why both statutes are included in the September 11th CN. Not because a CN was required to obligate the original $115 million appropriated to Ukraine, but only to notify Congress that DoS was reprogramming a $26.5 million increase in FMF to support Ukraine in 2019.
So basically, the DoS, DoD, and most blatantly, the OMB, are using technical double-speak to frame President Trump for impeachment and removal by the Senate for holding back security assistance from Ukraine, when, truth be told, Trump actually increased Ukraine FMF funding from $115 million to $141.5 million. This is how smart the bastards think they are. And this is how dumb they think you are. Arrogant deep state actors despise you.
On a side note, it’s also worth pointing out that Paoletta’s December 12th letter contributes to the myth that USAI left-overs were held for 55 straight days. There was at least an eight-day pause in the apportionment letters issued to reevaluate the best use for the remaining unobligated funds.
As such, there was no official hold in effect for that time period. Paoletta’s letter to the GAO General Counsel makes it seem as if the apportionment letters that constrained obligation of Ukraine USAI funds (pending a quick review to determine how best to spend for Ukraine) were in effect uninterrupted until September 11th. But OMB staffer Mark Sandy, who wrote the first apportionment letter on July 25th, testified that there was an eight-day gap, between August 12th and August 20th, when there was no documented hold in place. (Sandy Dep. Pgs. 124-126).
Had all of the breathlessly offended deep state witnesses trying to impeach and remove the President been truly worried about Ukraine in this crucial time period, they could have done their job and obligated whatever small amount of USAI was still unobligated for those eight days. Instead, they sat on their hands hoping the coup would remove the President. They didn’t give a damn about Ukraine for those eight days. In fact, they hoped then, as Paoletta and OMB hope now, that you won’t notice the gap.
I published the accurate historical research that cleared the good name of Trump’s father from a vicious racial smear placed by Philip Bump of the Washington Post, Nicholas Kristof of the NY Times, and Vice News. Facts destroy frames. The White House is infested. Fumigate now. Beware. The Senate cannot be relied upon.
Written and Researched by Ren Jander.
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Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.