When future generations look back on the Trump years, the 2018 midterms will surely be recognized as a turning point in the war against the president’s creeping authoritarianism and flagrant corruption. The Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives has stopped Trump’s legislative agenda in its tracks and made it impossible for him to fund his border wall through legitimate means.
On top of that, Democrats now have subpoena power to root out the criminality infesting the current administration. For the first time since the current conman occupant of the Oval Office took power, the opposition has substantive ways to fight back.
The New Yorker reports that Eliot Engel (D-NY), the new Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, says his first act as chairman will be to create a brand new subcommittee entirely dedicated to investigating Donald Trump.
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In a move that demonstrates just how dire a threat the president poses to our democracy, Engel will be dissolving a terrorism subcommittee to make way for the new Trump-focused one. Engel explained that there “wasn’t a great clamor” to maintain the terrorism group.
“We just thought, if we’re going to do something relevant in this era where Congress is going to reassert itself, where there are so many questionable activities of this Administration vis-à-vis foreign policy, that it made sense to have this,” Engel explained.
Trump’s disastrous approach to international diplomacy has undermined the United States’ longstanding reputation on the world stage. Engel described the president as practicing “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants diplomacy,” which is perhaps too kind a description for Trump’s efforts to completely destroy the post-World War II liberal order.
Engel gave The New Yorker a brief rundown of what his committee will be investigating.
- Uncovering what Trump promised to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin during their private meeting at the Helsinki summit.
- Trump’s numerous business entanglements, in particular, his interests in Russia and the Middle East and how they may have unduly influenced his approach to these regions as president.
- Trump’s strange hot-and-cold approach to North Korea, including his weird claim that he has “fallen in love” with the murderous Kim Jong-un.
- Trump’s refusal to confront Saudi Arabia over the murdering and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on the orders of Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.
- The administration’s erratic approach to the Syrian conflict.
Additionally, Engel cited the abrupt departure of Secretary of Defense James Mattis as a major cause of concern. The decorated general felt compelled to leave the position after Trump announced his intent to withdraw American troops from Syria, throwing our allies to the wolves in the process.
“It’s the first time in American history that a Secretary of Defense resigned in protest,” said Engel.
At this stage, the subcommittee sounds very promising. Representative Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) is aiming for a seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee and remarked that “We’re the only check left.” He hopes that Democrats can shape a force that will serve as an alternative to the floundering State Department and assert a more stable American presence in the world. Hopefully, the efforts are successful. The future of the country could depend upon it.