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Sen Paul says Ukraine aid package would ‘tie the hands’ of future administrations

Several conservatives agree with Sen. JD Vance’s memo circulated early Monday that there’s a ‘hidden’ clause in the national security supplemental bill that he believes could be grounds to impeach former President Donald Trump from office if elected to office later this year.

Vance sent a memo to GOP lawmakers highlighting that the bill, which would send billions of federal dollars to Ukraine, assures the delivery of funding through September 2025. Trump, however, has vowed to end the war in Ukraine within 24 hours of gaining office, which would also end funding.

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,’ and he urged Republicans to block its passage.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, said he supported Vance’s memo on Monday, arguing that Democrats are ‘setting up’ for a possible Trump presidential win.

‘They’re locking in foreign aid that will even tie the hands of the next president,’ Paul told Fox News Digital in an interview. ‘So, I think it’s a terrible idea. But also, if the next President were to try to have a different policy, you can see the Democrats again starting an impeachment.’

‘I think they’re going to try to impeach him before he gains office now, and that’s exactly what this is,’ he said.

Mark Paoletta, former Office of Management and Budget (OMB) General Counsel during the Trump Administration, told Fox News Digital in a statement 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.’

‘In a presidential election year, Congress should not be making long-term funding commitments, particularly in foreign policy, that will attempt to tie the hands of the next commander in chief,’ Paoletta said. ‘President Trump had every right to pause the Ukraine funding for about 60 days, given his concerns about corruption in Ukraine and how best to spend those funds.’

He added, ‘As OMB General Counsel, I issued the legal justification to pause the funding, and would do it again today.’

Russ Vought, a former Trump cabinet member, also agreed with Vance’s memo and said in a post on X that Vance is ‘absolutely right to interpret these Ukraine provisions’ in this manner.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., said the provision in the bill ‘is gonna force him to send money and spend money for Ukraine.’

‘This is in the bill,’ Tuberville told Fox News Digital. ‘So, it’s just another situation where the Democrats are doing something and working towards making sure that money’s spent in a certain area where American taxpayers and this country don’t have.’

The Trump administration, through the OMB, withheld a total of about $400 million of 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 that investigation.

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

Trump has indicated that if he is elected president this year, he would resolve the war in Ukraine ‘within 24 hours.’

The supplemental package, on track for final passage this week in the upper chamber, would send billions of federal dollars to Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific. The bill text includes $1.6 billion to finance Ukraine’s military as well as just under $14 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, set to expire on Sept. 30, 2025.

‘These are the exact same accounts President Trump was impeached for pausing in December 2019,’ Vance wrote in a memo distributed to GOP offices early Monday. ‘Every single House Republican voted against this impeachment solution.’

The Senate is gearing up for the last round of procedural votes Monday night to push the supplemental package forward for a final vote this week, despite several Republicans in opposition who are avoiding a time agreement to continue filibustering. It’s unclear if the bill would pass in the GOP-led House.

A former version of this bill that included border-related provisions failed to pass in the Senate last week.

The offices of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. R-Ky., did not respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment on Vance’s memo.

Fox News’ Tyler Olson and Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.

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