Don Lemon: “What is Donald Trump trying to hide? Why doesn’t he want the Mueller investigation to continue? Why did he decline to impose new sanctions on Russia today, as he had been ordered to do by Congress? What is going on here?”
So here’s what is going on.
The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAASTA) was meant to punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 US election, as well as alleged human rights violations, the annexation of Crimea and ongoing military operations in eastern Ukraine. It passed by overwhelming (and veto-proof) majorities (413 – 3 in Congress and 98 – 2 in the Senate).
From the Summary:
“The President must submit for congressional review certain proposed actions to terminate or waive sanctions with respect to the Russian Federation.
“Specified executive order sanctions against Russia shall remain in effect.
“The President may waive specified cyber- and Ukraine-related sanctions.
“The bill provides sanctions for activities concerning: (1) cyber security, (2) crude oil projects, (3) financial institutions, (4) corruption, (5) human rights abuses, (6) evasion of sanctions, (7) transactions with Russian defense or intelligence sectors, (8) export pipelines, (9) privatization of state-owned assets by government officials, and (10) arms transfers to Syria.
“The Department of State shall work with the government of Ukraine to increase Ukraine’s energy security.
“The bill: (1) directs the Department of the Treasury to develop a national strategy for combating the financing of terrorism, and (2) includes the Secretary of the Treasury on the National Security Council.”
The Russian Usurper decided to not impose any sanctions, because, you know: Putin.
So, to put it bluntly, as the Federal Government is about to head into another shutdown, Putin’s pal has decided again that his friendship with ol’ Vlad is much more important than working with Congress. Or obeying the law.