Is Trump Ignoring the Russian Sanctions Bill?

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Trump Maladministration

Five days ago, Congress sent a sweeping Russian sanctions bill to the White House to be signed into law.

Trump hasn’t signed it yet.

Various White House entities keep insisting that he will sign it. Mike Pence, who is in the Other Georgia, says he will sign it “very soon.”  But he hasn’t yet, and as near as I can tell from googling he hasn’t issued any statements about signing it. He hasn’t even tweeted about it.

For that matter, it appears he hasn’t said anything to anybody about Russia’s expelling U.S. diplomats. A president normally would issue a statement about something like that. But from Trump, not so much as a tweet.

Back to the Russian sanctions bill. Note that the bill includes a Trump filter:

The bill adds new sanctions on Russia’s defense and intelligence sectors aimed at making it more difficult for the country to export weapons, experts said.

It also targets Russia’s energy sector by giving the U.S. the ability to sanction companies involved in developing Russia’s energy export pipelines. The move drew heavy criticism from European investors involved in the construction of a natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany that is known as Nord Stream 2.

The bill also limits the president’s ability to scale back any sanctions by enshrining into law sanctions that Obama placed on Russia in December for what U.S. intelligence agencies say was meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

If President Trump wanted to lift sanctions, he would first have to get approval from Congress. Experts said this “congressional review process” is born of worries that Trump would try to act unilaterally.

“The motivation for this part is to constrain Trump and to make sure he isn’t able to strike some grand bargain with Putin,” said Daniel Treisman, a political science professor at UCLA. “It is highly unusual to give the president no leeway to remove sanctions. But he still has considerable freedom to determine how to enforce sanctions.”

This bill passed both houses with broad bipartisan support. It’s like Congress doesn’t trust Trump, or something.

Anyway, it’s my understanding he’s got to sign the bill within 10 days of receiving it, or else the bill is considered to be vetoed, and Congress has to vote again to override the veto. The clock is ticking.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Swami  •  Aug 1, 2017 @7:19 pm

    Trump hasn’t signed the sanctions bill for what he says is a legal review, I guess he wants his lawyers to make sure that if he signs it that Putin can’t sue him for breach of contract.

  2. drickard  •  Aug 1, 2017 @7:59 pm

    Article 1, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution states:

    If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a Law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a Law.

    So if he doesn’t sign it by the 10th working day while Congress is working, it goes into effect; I’d bet good money that Trumpkins or his staff mis-read/remembered the rule and Twitler thinks he’s killing the bill by ignoring it.

  3. Swami  •  Aug 1, 2017 @11:22 pm

    This one goes out to Donnie in the way of a little encouragement to sign the sanctions bill.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IBvtuZNgAM

  4. Doug  •  Aug 1, 2017 @11:39 pm

    My guess is that Trump won’t sign the bill because he’s afraid of Putin. (Why Trump is under Putin’s thumb, I do not know. The evidence of Putin’s control is pretty clear.)

    Trump can’t prevent the sanctions – or Congressional control of the lifting of sanctions.

    A veto is pointless with the margins we are talking about.

    Trump may be expecting Putin will get him back – 10 times worse.

  5. c u n d gulag  •  Aug 2, 2017 @12:03 am

    Doug,
    Why?
    I suspect that a lot of t-RUMPLE-THIN-sKKKin’s gilded faux fortune over the last 20 years comes from Putin and his Oligarch pals, because he was paid part of the profits – TAX FREE! Natura-lee!!! – to act as a full-service laundry for their ill gotten gains.

    ‘Youse wan’ extra starch, if youse unnerstan’ what I’m talkin’ ’bout – ‘n I tink youse do – dat’ll cost youse extra!’

  6. Swami  •  Aug 2, 2017 @1:24 am

    Why Trump is under Putin’s thumb, I do not know.

    I suspect that Trump was using the Russian’s influence solely as a means to build his brand and strengthen his economic connections to Russia without even considering the possibility of being elected. Trump’s being elected was a fluke that wasn’t anticipated by him. And as a result Trump was caught off balance by enlisting the Russian’s aid in a situation that suddenly turned on him making his benignly intended financial scheme into a very serious matter.
    Now he’s in a situation where there was no master plan on his part and he has to resort to plugging holes to try and knock down any attempts to uncover his scheme.
    I suspect that Putin only was using Trump as a tool to damage and sow disarray in our electoral process.. with an eye on damaging Hillary as the eventual victor.
    I also suspect that Trump is to far involved by what has so far been uncovered to salvage his presidency. His involvement in complicity and obstruction are slowly rising to the surface..and in time he’s going to have to pay the piper. Rest assured it’s coming.
    I hear the Mueller added an heavyweight attorney (#16) to his roster of legal minds and investigators. If I were Trump I’d be sweating it.
    Putin can walk away with a, “I don’t know what you are talking about”, but Trump has no way to extricate himself from the Russian involvement. Whining and dissembling ain’t gonna cut it.
    And to top it all off….Trump is a big bag of shit!

  7. bernie  •  Aug 2, 2017 @8:20 am

    When so much government is conducted in secret, it makes truth a fickle and elusive animal.  We do know that both the House and the Senate voted for this sanctions bill with overwhelming and veto proof numbers. We also know they are privy to much more information than we are. They did this knowing Trump’s position and bias toward Russia.  This puts Trump in an avoid-avoid conflict.  A veto is sure to be overridden and establishes near certainty that he is seriously indebted to the Russians.  Compromised is the term officials typically used, but clouds the truth.  If he signs the bill he risks retribution and seals historically a dubious election win.  No one is saying the Russians changed the outcome of the election, but no one is saying the contrary either.  To verify either notion would take mountains of evidence which would reveal way too many secrets and secret methods.  

    That he is not rushing to a signing ceremony with pomp and flourish tells volumes also.  He does like the limelight and power, just not this limelight and the accompanying executive responsibility.  

  8. elkern  •  Aug 2, 2017 @9:32 am

    “This bill passed both houses with broad bipartisan support.” …which only happens when AIPAC wants something. The “election hacking” stuff gives Democrats something to crow about, and lets Republicans pretend they are taking it seriously. But the real point is push-back against Russia turning the tide in Syria.

    And the bill “also” includes new sanctions on Iran, which has NOT been accused of meddling in our elections, but has been meddling in Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine/Gaza. I figure that they threw in bonus sanctions on North Korea just to lump those three – NK, Russia, and Iran – together as The Bad Guys. Remember – we’ve always been at war with EastAsia.

  9. csm  •  Aug 2, 2017 @10:14 am

    If any other country had for whatever reason, ejected our ambassadors on a similar scale, a tweet storm with a level of bullying stupidity of the likes yet unseen would have emanated from the White House immediately. Yet, not a peep from Trump.

    Given everything else, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what’s going on here.

  10. Swami  •  Aug 2, 2017 @11:07 am

    Looks like comrade Trump reluctantly signed the sanctions bill.. Poor baby.. It’s not easy submitting to authority. But that’s how we grow into being a mature adult.

  11. zoomar2  •  Aug 2, 2017 @1:07 pm

    My guess is Trump and Russian government lobbyists are busy drafting a signing statement designed to let him avoid as much of the bill’s restrictions as possible. If I were Mueller, I’d be checking the white house visitor logs very closely along with any other contacts Trump’s office meets with over this ten day period.

  12. Bardi  •  Aug 2, 2017 @1:10 pm

    drichard : On the tenth day, is Congress “working” or are they on recess?

  13. zoomar2  •  Aug 2, 2017 @4:41 pm

    Well, he finally signed it. As expected, there’s a lengthy signing statement attached. I’d sure like to know who drafted it and who that person consulted during the process.

  14. Swami  •  Aug 2, 2017 @5:12 pm

    Did you read the final paragraph in his signing statement? It kinda makes it obvious that his self absorption isn’t an intentional self promotion ploy..it’s a serious mental disorder.

  15. maha  •  Aug 2, 2017 @5:17 pm

    Does anyone have a link to the full signing statement?

  16. David Rickard  •  Aug 2, 2017 @5:28 pm


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