aside Senate Passes Bill To Bar President From Arbitrarily Lifting Sanctions Against Russia

Image result for photos of senate passing sanctions bill
Crapo-backed Russia sanctions bill passes Senate

I have made it known in several of my past blogs that I am personally convinced that all of the republican President Donald Trump’s bizarre bromance with Russia is due to him being highly motivated to have the 2014 sanctions lifted which were imposed on Russia due its unprovoked incursion into Crimea, Ukraine.

It is my contention that somehow, both the president and his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as Exxon’s former CEO, stand to benefit financially if these sanctions were lifted which would be contrary to the US national security interests.

Image result for photo of tillerson with putin and sechinMr. Tillerson’s interests are due to Exxon potentially benefiting by lifting Russian sanctions:

Around 2012,  Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson had been hard at work, negotiating and closing on a deal with Russia’s oil company Rosneft for oil exploration and drilling in the arctic area, valued by experts at upwards of $500 billion dollars. This deal granted Exxon access to explore in Russia’s Arctic area, the right to drill in Siberia and the chance to explore in the deep waters of Russia’s Black Sea. As luck would have it, the very first well that was constructed in the Artic was a bonanza beyond what anyone had imagined. But this steak of good fortune ended because of the 2014 sanctions enacted against Russia.

Image result for images of christopher steelePresident Trump’s Possible interest:

Within Mr Christopher Steele’s dossier presented to the FBI in summer 2016, there is a reference to Rosneft which is as follows:

“In terms of the substance of their discussion, Sechin’s associate said that the Rosneft President was so keen to lift personal and corporate western sanctions imposed on the company, that he offered (Carter) Page/Trump associates the brokerage of up to a 19 per cent (privatised) stake in Rosneft in return. Page had expressed interest and confirmed that were Trump elected US president, then sanctions on Russia would be lifted.”

It looks like the US Senate has figured all of this out as well because it has passed a bill on 6/14/17 to prevent the president from eliminating these sanctions against Russia without prior congressional approval. This bill must also be passed by the US House of Representatives and it would need enough votes to overcome a probable presidential veto.

Image result for photos of senate passing sanctions billHere is the rest of the story…

On June 14, 2017, Elana Schor of Politico penned the following report, “Senate overwhelmingly passes Russia sanctions deal with new limits on Trump:”

“The Senate on Wednesday (6/14/17) overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan package of new Russia sanctions that also lets Congress block President Donald Trump from easing or ending penalties against Moscow, the year’s most significant GOP-imposed restriction on the White House.”

“The 97-2 vote on the Russia sanctions plan capped a week of talks that demonstrated cross-aisle collaboration that’s become increasingly rare as Trump and the GOP push to repeal Obamacare without any Democratic votes. Senators merged the sanctions package with a bipartisan Iran sanctions bill that’s on track for passage as soon as this week, complicating the politics of any future veto threat from the Trump administration.”

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Rex Tillerson

“It’s particularly significant that a bipartisan coalition is seeking to reestablish Congress, not the president, as the final arbiter of sanctions relief, considering that this administration has been too eager — far too eager, in my mind — to put sanctions relief on the table,” Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who pressed hard for the strongest possible anti-Russia bill, said in a floor speech. “These additional sanctions will also send a powerful, bipartisan statement that Russia and any other nation who might try to interfere with our elections will be punished.”

“But the Senate’s deal faces a murky future in the House and with the White House, which has yet to say where it stands on congressional review of sanctions that would tie Trump’s hands on future relations with Vladimir Putin’s government.”

Image result for photos of senate passing sanctions bill“Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declined to endorse the deal for a second straight day on Wednesday while emphasizing the importance of “a constructive dialogue” with Russia. Although “Russia must be held accountable for its meddling in U.S. elections,” Tillerson told House Foreign Affairs Committee members, “I would urge Congress to ensure any legislation allows the president to have the flexibility to adjust sanctions to meet the needs of what is always an evolving diplomatic situation.”

“Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a leading negotiator of the sanctions deal and a Tillerson ally, said earlier this week that he believed the legislation would get Trump’s signature. Democrats, however, are also wary of House GOP attempts to change their popular, bipartisan agreement to punish Putin.”

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Sherrod Brown

“I know that some people in the White House are pushing back” on the Senate sanctions framework, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, the Banking Committee’s top Democrat and another key player in the talks, told reporters. “People in the White House, we hear, are making calls in the House to try to stop it, slow it, weaken it, dilute it.”

“The deal, which adds new sanctions against Russia’s defense and military-intelligence sectors while codifying existing sanctions into law, drew opposition only from GOP Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland missed the vote.”

Image result for photos of senate passing sanctions bill“Arizona Sen. John McCain, among the upper chamber’s strongest Russia hawks, rallied support among fellow Republicans for striking back after Russia’s cyber-attacks during the 2016 election — which Trump has dismissed repeatedly in the past.”

“Vladimir Putin’s brazen attack on our democracy is a flagrant demonstration of his disdain and disrespect for our nation,” McCain said on the floor ahead of the vote. “This should not just outrage every American, but it should compel us to action.”

25 comments

    • Dear Suzanne,

      Some republican lawmakers are finally figuring out that covering for DDT is not a the political spin game that they can get away with. You are right that this has been a long wait.

      Some are still trying to besmirch Mr. Mueller’s reputation. Good luck with that as his reputation within the Washington DC world is almost legendary where most of these guys can’t begin to measure up.

      Hugs, Gronda

  1. Gronda, good reporting. 97 to 2 is a statement vote. Every time I see Carter Page being interviewed, you can tell he is lying when his answers get wildly evasive. The President’s nonchalance about Russia’s hacking speaks volumes. It is more than ego – it must be about money. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      You are right on the money. Mr. Mueller will be targeting DDT’S administration not only for “obstruction of justice” wrongdoings but also for money laundering.

      One way Russians launder their dirty money is by buying US properties under the guise of LLCs where buyers can hide their identities. Since DDT came into the WH there has been a 70% increase of purchasers of his properties under the guise of LLCs whereas before DDT became president, the number of his properties purchased under LLCS (lLimited Liability companies) was only 4%. This is a low hanging fruit. And this is separate from his questionable business dealings with foreign entities.

      Then there is the collusion between DDT’S team and Russian operatives having to do with figuring out how to lift the 2014 US/ NATO imposed Russian sanctions. This is what General Flynn was working on before he had to resign. This is the info that he brings to the table.

      You probably have noticed how the far right still supporting DDT are trying to throw mud on Mr. Mueller’s reputation. The folks who are pushing this do not know the Washington DC world well. These attempts will come back to bite them where it really hurts.

      Mr. Mueller will not hesitate to acquire DDTs IRS tax returns but we will just not hear about it because his team does not have the habit of leaking. I am suspicious that DDT is not nearly as wealthy as he claims to be, which makes him more vulnerable to conflict of interest’s wrongdoings, especially with revenues from foreign governments..

      Hugs, Gronda

  2. We can rest assured that when the Republicans in Congress are convinced of Trump’s misbehavior they will drop him like a hot potato. Don’t forget these people hate Trump’s guts, and can hardly wait for an excuse to jump ship.

  3. Excellent information, Gronda! You explain it so well … I will re-blog! My fear is that when this bill reaches the House it will be dead in the water, and as you mention, it will have to have enough support to gain a 2/3 majority in both chambers in order to override the veto that we all know will be forthcoming. But I am encouraged to see how many senators appear to be waking up to the reality that Trump cannot be trusted to do what is best for the country, rather than what is best for his own portfolio.

    Hugs!!!

  4. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Yesterday we saw something that we have not seen in Congress for a very long time … bipartisanship. The Senate voted 97-2 to impose further sanctions on Russia AND … even more importantly … to prevent the president from eliminating sanctions against Russia. This is important, and blogger-friend Gronda has done such an excellent job in reporting and explaining the significance of this action that I am sharing her post with you. Please take a minute to read, because this sort of bipartisan action is crucial to our foundation of governance. Thank you, Gronda, for an excellent post and for permission to re-blog!

    • Dear Jill,

      For me it is impossible to ignore DDT’s bromance with Russia, a country that is no friend to the US. For decades, it has been the republican party members who were clear eyed and sober in the US dealings with Russia.

      Fortunately, there are senators like John McCain who still reflect this policy.

      I don’t know if the lower house representatives are on the same page.

      Thanks a million times over for your great introduction, for all of your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • I agree fully on your assessment of Russia. They are, at the very least, our antagonists. Trump panders to those who do not wish us well, such as Saudi Arabia, Russia and Turkey, while he abuses those who have been our friends and come to our assistance many a time.

        Hugs!!!

        • Dear Jill,

          You can bet that the dignitaries from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Russia know how to kiss up to him. Did you watch how he was treated when he was visiting the Sauds? Then compare that show to how the G7 leaders worked with him.

          The US foreign policy is being determined by which country’s officials pay due homage to him versus what in the US best interests. And then there are those republicans who are continuing to enable him.

          Hugs, Gronda

        • Yes, I saw how he was treated by the Sauds, and also how he pandered to them. The whole thing made me sick.

          I agree that those he loves are the ones who pay homage, say the nicest things and fawn over him … all the while they are laughing behind his back, I suspect, but he is not smart enough to realize it.

          Hugs!!!

  5. I’m eagerly awaiting to see if SC Mueller can come up with the goods to prove beyond doubt Trump’s collusion with Russia. Perhaps he can subpoena the IC to “declassify” certain obvious truths. I’m so sick of the coverups and outright lies from Comey and crew (he interfered plenty sideswiping Hillary’s chances).

    And now satirically, Putin offers political asylum to James Comey, citing potential prosecution In U.S.

    Comparing Comey to Snowden, Putin said, “It makes him not a security service director, but a civil activist advocating a certain belief.”

    He added, “By the way, if he faces any kind of prosecution in this regard, we will provide political asylum in Russia for him as well. He should be aware of that.”

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/15/533043576/putin-offers-political-asylum-to-james-comey-citing-potential-prosecution-in-u-s

    • Dear 1EarthUnited,

      I truly don’t believe that Mr. Mueller will be focusing in on collusion between DDT’S team and Russian operatives.

      He is a true investigator whose division does not leak and so, the press may get a lot wrong.

      It is my opinion that he will be targeting foreign government folks’ money laundering schemes that involve the president. The president’s numerous attempts to work towards lifting of the 2014 sanctions imposed upon Russia because of its unprovoked incursion into Ukraine give us a clue If there exists a deal between Russia and US, IT WOULD BE OVER THIS ISSUE. This would explain why Russia was so highly motivated to help DDT win the presidency.

      This would include also investigating the president’s “obstruction of justice” attempts.

  6. I will be anticipating the obligatory Trump tweet about this matter. Who might he go after to salvage his spin that the sanctions need to be lifted?

  7. Dear Usfman,

    There is option 1, the media is out to get him with fake news; option 2, the progressives are on a witch-hunt because thieir candidate did not win; option 3, the deep state government workers are out to get him because he is challenging the status quo.

    Right now, as we speak, President Trump with the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and others are hard at work to try to find a solution for the Russian/ Ukraine stand-off to where there is at least an argument which can be made for the lifting of sanctions.

    The trouble is that Russia desperately needs permanent usage of Crimea’s Russian naval base in Ukraine on the warm waters of he Mediterranean seas for military strategic purposes.

    Hugs, Gronda

  8. Impressive work Gronda. Keeping the true spirit of American democracy alight during one of its trying times.
    I am truly puzzled by this crew in and around the Whitehouse; they really do not seem to have the slightest notion as to how the American political system and its many dynamics works.
    Extraordinary. (British understatement)

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