Trump’s Signing Statement on the Russia Sanctions Bill

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Trump Maladministration

So Trump today signed the Russia sanctions bill, although he attached two lengthy signing statements to it. The full text is here.  The first obviously was written by a lawyer. The second may have been at least partly dictated by Trump.

Noah Bierman wrote for the Los Angeles Times:

Trump signed the bill without cameras, sending out a statement later in the morning saying that despite his belief that parts of the measure were unconstitutional, he was signing it into law for the “sake of national unity.”

He had little choice about signing the bill after nearly unanimous votes in both houses of Congress approved it, all but guaranteeing any veto would be overridden.

The bill prevents American companies from investing in many energy projects that are funded by Russian government interests.

It also prevents Trump from unilaterally lifting the  sanctions, giving Congress an extended period of time to review any presidential action that tries to upend or significantly change existing sanctions.

The signing statement(s) more or less say(s) that Trump will honor key provisions, but he gives himself room to challenge it in the future, on constitutional grounds.

From the first statement:

 My Administration will give careful and respectful consideration to the preferences expressed by the Congress in these various provisions and will implement them in a manner consistent with the President’s constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations.

This seems to me to give himself room to do whatever he wants.

Finally, my Administration particularly expects the Congress to refrain from using this flawed bill to hinder our important work with European allies to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, and from using it to hinder our efforts to address any unintended consequences it may have for American businesses, our friends, or our allies.

… or he’ll send his own friend Vinnie “the Claw” from Bayonne to rearrange your kneecaps.

The second statement is even better.

Still, the bill remains seriously flawed – particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate. Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking….

… I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected. As President, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.

This was after the Great Orange Mound of Blubber did absolutely nothing useful to help Republicans in Congress get any of their bills passed (not that I mind). Several pundits wrote that Trump couldn’t help close the deal because he never bothered to learn what was in the health care bill. Conservative writers also have lost any faith in Trump’s so-called deal-making skills. And here he’s once again calling out Congress for not getting the deal done.

I bet a lot of congressional Republicans are starting to hate him.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Doug  •  Aug 2, 2017 @7:21 pm

    “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” remains undefined. If a majority in the House voted to pass on Articles of Impeachment to the Senate, assuming all democrats voted to impeach, a total of 18 republicans would have to agree. If Mitch McConnell signed on to impeach, it would happen. A week ago I would have said it’s unlikely Mitch will go after Trump – but Trump has been treating the Senate like a fully owned subsidiary of the West Wing. Mich won’t hold still for that if Trump ignores the law he passed to keep Trump in check.

    Mitch is a complete sleaze but he has too much pride to be Trump’s bitch.

  2. Swami  •  Aug 2, 2017 @9:02 pm

    He had little choice about signing the bill after nearly unanimous votes in both houses of Congress approved it, all but guaranteeing any veto would be overridden.

    I think there was more dissenting votes cast against Roosevelt when he asked for a declaration of war against Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor then there was against imposing sanction on Russia.

  3. Bonnie  •  Aug 2, 2017 @9:06 pm
  4. maha  •  Aug 3, 2017 @5:13 pm

    Bonnie — Yeah, what the NAACP did doesn’t really surprise me. This may be the most segregated state in the Union.

  5. pluky  •  Aug 3, 2017 @12:06 pm

    The Republican congress critters can hate Trump all they want. I want them to not fear him (or at least not fear his hold on the bat shit crazy base) enough to rid ourselves of him.

  6. Bill  •  Aug 3, 2017 @3:44 pm

    I’d go on my usual grousing about sociopaths in power but may have to let the discrepancy between Trumps words and behaviors speak for themselves. In their world power isn’t deserved and earned. Only “the losers” do that. Power is taken. He’s an excellent poster child for those behaviors, with all the usual tell-tale signs.

    Will the bat shit crazy base learn anything? Not the hard cores. They want to stay ignorant. Emotional needs. It’s how a lot of people stay stupid. But as those with a more normal rationality encounter his kind in their own daily lives, I’m hoping they’ll figure it out. He’s not like us.

  7. zoomar2  •  Aug 4, 2017 @7:18 pm

    “I bet a lot of congressional Republicans are starting to hate him.”
    McConnell left the senate in pro forma session. A blocking move usually reserved for Obama.

    Yeah, they hate him.



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