Trump ignores another law

The next item in the ongoing constitutional collapse here in the US is the Trump administration’s refusal to implement legislation that Congress passed by a massive majority.

The Trump administration has announced it will not impose additional sanctions on Russia, despite Congress passing a law allowing the President to do so.

With Monday the deadline for the White House to impose any new measures, the US State Department insisted the threat of sanctions was already acting as a deterrent.

The new sanctions would have required the US Treasury Department to penalise foreign governments and companies doing business with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors.

The Trump admin says oh foreign governments and companies are already put off by the very mention of sanctions so we’re not going to actually impose any.

Congress voted almost unanimously to pass a bill last year that punished Russia for its alleged meddling in the 2016 US election and aggression in east Ukraine.

Mr Trump, who wanted warmer ties with Moscow and had opposed the legislation as it worked its way through Congress, signed it reluctantly in August, branding the bill “seriously flawed”.

And he’s simply refusing to carry it out.

The bill allowed sanctions to be delayed or waived, but any inaction would have to come with evidence to Congress that Russia was making progress in cutting back on cyber meddling.

And evidence means evidence, not just a Trump stooge uttering words.

The measure, known as the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)”, also required the administration to list “oligarchs” close to Russia president Vladimir Putin’s government and issue a report detailing possible consequences of penalising Russia’s sovereign debt.

Monday’s deadline to release those reports was seen as a test of Trump’s willingness to clamp down on Russia. Critics condemned him for failing to announce any sanctions.

And for releasing a laughably bogus list of oligarchs.

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