Less than a week ago, the Trump administration announced it would not impose the sanctions upon Russia that 517 members of Congress voted to enact. Impossible as it is to believe, Trump has yet to be impeached on the refusal to enforce the sanctions. And, the administration’s rationale for refusing to carry-out Congress’ will is bizarre, deeply cynical, and contemptuous of the American citizenry’s intelligence.
The administration states that there is no need to sanction the Russians because “the legislation itself is acting as a deterrent.”
This is outrageous.
As stated in the Washington Post: the legislation was meant as a punishment, not a deterrent. The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act explicitly says at the top that it is “to provide congressional review and to counter aggression by the Russian Federation, and for other purposes.” The law says it’s about “countering” something, rather than preventing something.
Second, to the extent that the law is about “deterrence,”it is most certainly not deterring the Russians from doing what they did to earn the sanctioning in the first place. Within the same day that the State Department announced it would not be imposing sanctions, CIA Director Mike Pompeo stated: ““I haven’t seen a significant decrease in their activity,” Pompeo told BBC News.“I have every expectation that they will continue to try and do that, but I’m confident that America will be able to have a free and fair election, [and] that we will push back in a way that is sufficiently robust that the impact they have on our election won’t be great.”
The president’s own CIA director is telling us that the Russians have not scaled back their attempts to impact our elections at all, while the State Department claims that there is sufficient “deterrence” such that no sanctions need be imposed.
As if it were not horrific enough, there is not an ounce of discretion in the law Congress passed. The sanctions are mandatory, and yet the Trump administration rationalizes itself out of it in a way that the Washington Post says: “it risks looking as if it’s just ignoring Congress’s will to cozy up to Moscow.”
I don’t see Congress calling administration officials to the Hill to explain themselves. I don’t see impeachment articles drawn up charging the president with a willful refusal to follow the law.
What ‘risk” is being undertaken here?
So long as Congress is in the hands of Republicans, Trump can do whatever Trump wants, including ignoring Republican lawmakers, something Trump seems to know all too well.
Why has the president not been impeached over THIS issue? This issue alone doesn’t require a Mueller investigation. This issue, too, involves Russian meddling in our election. This issue involves punishing Russians for meddling in our election. This issue involves a law passed with full Republican support. No one needs to investigate Trump’s behavior on this issue. Trump has come out and said he will not enforce the law.
Why is the country standing for this!
This cannot be justified. This is the act of a man more loyal to Russia than the United States. The Republican Congress knows it, and is tolerating it. The decision to not impose sanctions upon Russia should be the only story on the news until such time as the sanctions are enforced, or a new president takes the oath of office, one or the other.