Donald Trump, the pretender to the American presidency, is trying to block, delay or dilute the bill before the United States House of Representatives that the Republican-led Senate approved overwhelmingly three weeks ago that imposes additional economic sanctions on both Iran and on the Russian Federation and limits the President’s discretion in lifting sanctions against Russia. The Republican leadership of the House still has not scheduled a vote on the Senate bill.
The bipartisan Senate bill imposes targeted sanctions on
for sponsoring terrorism and on authoritarian Russian Federation leaders for
human rights violations and for Russian support for the terrorist-sponsoring
tyrannical Syrian regime of Bashar Assad.
Although it is not specifically meant to punish Russia for its
interference in the American presidential election, the bill is widely
perceived as such.
The bill is also, therefore, a test of whether Trump will maintain American independence of Russia and whether he is providing a quo in exchange for the Russian quid of interfering in the presidential elections on his behalf, which might incriminate him of a constitutional high crime or misdemeanor and lead Congress to impeach and remove him from office. Russian interference in the American elections, which included propaganda and disinformation, hacking and leaking, is under investigation by a Special Counsel and multiple congressional committees. The question of whether Trump’s campaign accepted Russian help in exchange for financial benefits or the lifting of sanctions on
Russia is among the subjects being probed.
Trump, who never criticizes Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, has reportedly been seeking to end sanctions on Russia that had been approved by the Republican majority Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama and to return diplomatic compounds in Maryland and Virginia to the Russians which they had used for espionage against the U.S. which Obama ordered them to evacuate. The measures were imposed to punish
for aggression against Ukraine
and for interference in the American elections, respectively. Trump has proposed no punishments for Russian
interference in the elections and denies any Russian culpability, despite the
unanimous assessment of U.S.
intelligence agencies, or for other Russian transgressions.
Conservatives must urge the House of Representatives to approve the Senate bill to impose additional sanctions on
Iran and Russia.