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Congress set an ‘impeachment trap’ for Trump with Russian sanctions

President Trump tweeted on Thursday morning that US-Russia relations were currently at an "all-time and very dangerous low," adding "you can thank Congress". The vote might actually have been a trap to impeach Trump.

Published: August 4, 2017, 8:41 am

    Washington

    According to Alexander Mercouris, editor of The Duran, Trump in his Signing Statement makes clear he regards sanctions law as unconstitutional and will challenge it in the Supreme Court, which “is a legally and politically astute strategy” because going against Congress would mean the risk of facing impeachment.

    “The alternative – vetoing the bill, either by positively vetoing it or by refusing to sign it (a pocket veto) – would have set the President up for a direct clash with Congress on an issue where he has no support in Congress.

    “Not only would his veto have been overridden but there is a strongly likelihood in that case that articles of impeachment would have been brought forward,” Mercouris notes.

    “Whilst the President would have been doing nothing more than exercise his constitutional right if he had sought to veto the law, impeachment is decided purely by Congress and it is Congress alone which decides whether the grounds for impeachment have been made out. The courts have no say in the matter.”

    There seems to be too few Republicans in Congress that would rally to the President to prevent impeachment taking place, as Congress has practically unanimously supported the sanctions law.

    Briefly, the US President may rather challenge these unconstitutional provisions to vote illegal sanctions against Russia in the US Supreme Court on the grounds that they are preventing him from exercising his constitutional duty to manage the nation’s foreign policy.

    Mercouris believes the sanctions law may have been put together by the President’s opponents in Congress – who include Republicans as well as Democrats – with the actual intention of provoking him into vetoing it so as to set up the conditions for his impeachment.

    “If so then the President – heeding the advice of his lawyers – has sidestepped the trap,” Mercouris concludes.

    karin@praag.org

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