So it's no wonder Mr. Vance opposes efforts underway in the Senate to approve a $95 billion bill that includes additional funding for Ukraine. What is surprising is the misleading (and perhaps disingenuous) arguments Vance is making against this bill. The debate focuses on infuriating Donald Trump's most ardent supporters.
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At issue is a provision in a funding bill that allocates billions of dollars to the federal government's Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).
“These funds expire on September 30, 2025, nearly a year before President Trump’s potential second term,” Vance said. explained He said in a memo he sent to all Republicans in Congress on Monday. A warning then appeared: “These are the exact accounts that President Trump was impeached for in December 2019 for his suspension.”
That's the argument Vance is making: Democrats are trying to pass a bill that could impeach Trump again! Republicans must get out of their way!
This is a nonsense argument, rooted in obvious misrepresentations regarding Trump's 2019 impeachment.
First of all, September 30, 2025 is not “almost a year” into the presidential term, which begins on January 20, 2025, nor is it a randomly chosen date to impose on President Trump. You should be careful.
September 30, 2025 is the end of the 2025 federal fiscal year. The year he starts on October 1, 2024. The only provision of the law is that the amount indicated is available until the end of the financial year. It's more likely that there will be a scramble to see if Trump can spend most of the money before he takes office, rather than holding on to the policy as a way to impeach Trump. Seems much higher.
Vance's memo argues that a key reason for Trump's 2019 impeachment was his reluctance to release funds that had also been earmarked for USAI.
“If President Trump withdraws or suspends funding for the Ukraine war in order to bring the conflict to a peaceful end “over the objections of career experts,'' The same sham budget violations committed during the impeachment were committed under very similar facts and circumstances.”
But of course, the focus of the 2019 impeachment was not on President Trump's withholding of funds from Ukraine; why He did.
The suspension was not the focus any more than it was the “perfect” phone call that President Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. It follows a pattern of pressure on Ukraine (such as withholding state visits and (e.g., making it possible to purchase weapons). It was about how Trump used the power of the presidency for his re-election campaign, given that Trump (correctly) views Biden as a likely opponent.
(If there was any doubt that Republicans, including Trump, thought Joe Biden was tied to his son's business activities, the past year of right-wing agitation on the issue has made that question more likely.) It should help you solve it.)
As Mr. Vance argues, the impeachment was not focused on whether President Trump violated the Seizure Control Act by not releasing funds earmarked for Ukraine. This law is rooted in maintaining the separation of powers in the federal government. If Congress approves spending, the president cannot simply ignore that approval. However, President Trump withheld funding from Ukraine without making it public, but eventually released the allocated funds.
Rather, the suspension was part of this broader effort.
“I think it's strange to withhold security assistance to support a political campaign,” one administration official said in a text message to another. Two days later, the aid was lifted.
Vance described all of these as “false claims put forth by Democrats,” as if the real concern was not President Trump's efforts to exploit his position, but the extent to which Ukraine received funding. He states this as if he will have to wait longer than expected.
But that's a more useful discussion at this point. If Mr. Vance can enrage Trump supporters against the idea that this is a dirty trick to try to impeach Mr. Trump again, he could put pressure on his Republican colleagues. The debate has shifted from the merits of funding to whether Ukraine should be supported against Russia. — for his imagined contempt for Trump.
It might work. At least one of Vance's more reliable allies the bait has already been taken.