The US Congress is backing Trump into a corner - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

The US Congress is backing Trump into a corner

The nuclear summit Trump co-chaired with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has ended with great disappointment. This disappointment has made National Security Advisor John Bolton the happiest. Analysts base this evaluation on Bolton’s “Neocon” approach on resolving disputes through force instead of diplomacy. The greatest support for Trump’s initiative to negotiate with North Korea, on the other hand, came from the Democrats. 18 Democrats from the House of Representatives supported Trump with the declaration they made just before the summit. The declaration included some of Trump’s harshest critics such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Talib, Ilhan Omar.

While Trump was meeting Kim Jong-Un in Vietnam, his former lawyer Michael Cohen was giving his testimony in front of a Congress committee regarding the “Russian collusion” accusations. The New Yorker magazine reflected Trump’s psychological state with a caricature. In the caricature, it says, “Trump wants to know whether North Korea’s missiles can reach Michael Cohen.” During the sessions in Congress, Cohen levelled accusations against Trump. However, he is still unable to provide damning evidence for Trump’s alleged deal with Russia during the Presidential elections of 2016.

It is expected that Robert Mueller will submit his report any day now on the investigation after the appointment of William Barr as Secretary of Justice after Jeff Sessions left the post. Deputy Secretary Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the investigation is also leaving soon. Since Sessions renounced his recusal in the investigation, Rosenstein assumed the overseeing of the investigation. Rosenstein, in turn, put Former Director of the FBI, Mueller, in charge of the investigation. Before him, the investigation was carried out by FBI Director James Comey. However, Trump removed Comey from his position. Trump who was very resentful after Sessions renounced his recusal, is now blaming Mueller for starting a “witch hunt” against him. Republicans are taking measures to prevent the publishing of the Mueller report.

Democrats taking the majority in the House of Representatives actually affects the “Russian Investigation” closely. The Democrats are voicing out many options including “Trump’s impeachment”. However, since the Republicans are controlling the majority in the Senate, the impeachment option doesn’t seem plausible. Because, even if the House starts the impeachment process, two third of the votes in the Senate is necessary to trigger it. Actually, the issue is rather more political than legal and the Democrats are thinking that they may corner Trump in the elections that are going to take place in 2020. According to some legal experts, Trump should be afraid of being accused of “obstructing the course of justice” rather than “making a deal with the Russians”. These legal experts see Trump’s decision to remove FBI Director Comey from his position in this context.

Another issue keeping Trump up at night is the wall he promised to build in the Mexican border to prevent the inflow of the immigrants. Since he couldn’t allocate funds for the wall from the Congress, Trump declared a “National Emergency”. This way, he is planning to build the wall with the funds he is going to obtain, especially from the Secretary of Defense. The Democrats in the Congress, on the other hand, are trying to end the “National Emergency”. Some Republican Senators, including Rand Paul, also declared that they are going to back the Democrats in this regard. The White House announced that if a decision is going to be made to end the National Emergency, Trump will veto it.

A similar situation is also true for two resolutions making the rounds in the House of Representatives to make individual armament more difficult. The Republicans regard the right to carry as sacred and they don’t want it to be restricted. While only a few of the Democrats voted “no” for the armament control resolution, only a few Republican voted “yes”. The decisions made by the House of Representatives are also the first ever made about the gun control issue in the last 25 years.

Democrats were successful in constricting Trump in the eyes of the conservative voters by making critical moves both on the issue of the “right to carry” and his declaration of a “National Emergency”. We are going to see new actions within the new Congress challenging Trump on a wide number of issues.


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