President Trump signed the new sanctions law, H.R. 3364, issuing a signing statement that makes it clear he feels the bill is unconstitutional.
This is in contrast to what he said last week in which, for all intents and purposes, he owned the bill saying the changes Congress made were to his specification and that he would sign it.
So, where is the real Trump on this issue?
Is it the one that is so willing to punish Germany that he’s willing to go along with sanctions that are clearly violations of international law, as Martin Armstrong pointed out?
Congress is regularly violating International Law and unfortunately, it has refused to submit jurisdiction to any international court. The likelihood of the US Supreme Court overruling FATCA or this new round of Russian Sanction is about nil. Congress’ actions show the total IGNORANCE of what is at stake and what the American Revolution was all about. The reason the Congress cannot compel foreign entities to comply with US law outside the United States is called TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION, which was born with the American Revolution. No nation can sanction another outside its jurisdiction and then demand that all other countries obey its law – that is IMPERIALISM.
The Founding Fathers knew very well what they were doing when the established Jurisdictional Law.
Or, is it the Donald Trump who had his lawyers craft a signing statement that lays out a pretty clear case for the bill’s contravening the Constitution as pointed out by Alexander Mercouris at The Duran?
Mercouris lays out the argument that by doing this Trump neatly side-stepped an impeachment plot against him. That this bill was designed to be vetoed which would allow Congress to bring in Articles of Impeachment on the grounds that he was guilty of high treason for not punishing Russia for the unproven crime of “hacking the election.”
At this point I don’t know what to believe. But I can tell you this, Trump will likely challenge this in the Supreme Court if Congress attempts to assert its unconstitutional authority over his attempts to prosecute foreign policy.
The question is going to be timing. He has to put to bed the Special Investigation by Robert Mueller in such a way as to not invite another impeachment process. The Russia-Gate story is failing. There is little to go on at this point.
Mueller is on a fishing expedition that will eventually find something to hang Trump with. There is always something. But, the counter-narrative is the unfolding drama surrounding Former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
If it becomes any clearer that she knew the Russians were not involved in the hacking of the DNC servers and that trail leads to the creation of the infamous Trump Dossier which was the basis for all of the unmasking by the Obama Administration, then the entire Russia-Gate narrative falls apart in a legal sense.
It’s already dead as a practical issue. But, if it dies in a legal sense, Mueller’s investigation can be shut down without political damage to Trump. Furthermore, a new investigation into Hillary Clinton’s campaign can be opened up for her colluding with Ukrainian officials, and Congress will have no solid ground to impeach Trump for high treason.
They can impeach him in a symbolic sense, like they did Bill Clinton. But in no way will they have a high treason claim that is credible. This threat fades to the background if that investigation yields dirt on the most powerful members of the Senate, namely John McCain and Chuck Schumer.
And, that’s where I think all of this leads.
McCain knows he’s in trouble over the Trump Dossier. There are others as well. More and more of Hillary’s pillars of protection are being removed. Comey is gone, Mueller has nothing except innuendos and leaks at this point and Trump has a new FBI director to start from scratch.
While all of this is going on Trump has to assuage Russia and Germany that he’s not intending to use these new sanctions to set try and set policy for them. If he doesn’t he’s inviting a trade war that will engulf most of the world.
With his provoking China, apparent disagreements with his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, over Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal and aggressive sabre-rattling with North Korea, things look bleak right now.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev wrote a scathing rebuke of Trump’s acquiescence to the sanctions and Congress. The ball is in his court to try and dig himself out of the hole he dug by not attacking his enemies from the outset.