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Wed, 23rd August 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “United States Constitution” Tag

‘Trump to Suffer Personal Defeat’ if Congress Overcomes His Veto of Sanctions

US President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017As the new US sanctions against Russia are debated not only in Washington, but also in many European countries, Austrian political expert Gerhard Mangott commented on the issue, saying that the decision on the sanctions could severely affect US President Donald Trump’s political image and Washington’s relations with Europe.

According to the expert, the sanctions will almost certainly be adopted, as both the Democrats and the Republicans believe that they must be introduced.

“This is a very rare occurrence in the United States. President Trump could veto this law, but he won’t do it, because it will be overcome by this very unity in both houses of Congress. In this case Trump will suffer not only political, but also personal defeat,” Mangott told Sputnik.

The analyst noted that there is huge pressure on Trump in domestic politics, especially amid the investigation into alleged ties between the US president and Russia.

US House passes Russia sanctions bill

The US House of Representatives has passed legislation to impose new sanctions on Russia, North Korea and Iran by an overwhelming majority, setting the legislation on a collision course with President Donald Trump.

The bill, HR 3364passed the House on Tuesday with 419 votes for and 3 votes against.

In particular it imposes new sanctions on Russia in response to alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election that saw Mr Trump victorious, citing a January 2017 assessment from the US intelligence community.

Mr Trump has spent recent days railing against his former close campaign adviser, attorney-general Jeff Sessions, who upset the president in March when he recused himself from the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into connections between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Trump stressed that he was very “disappointed” that Mr Sessions had recused himself from the investigation, which has engulfed the White House since the president was inaugurated in January.

If Mr Trump vetoes the bill it will require a two-thirds majority vote in the House to still become law – likely a minor obstacle in light of the near-universal bipartisan support shown on Tuesday.

McCain: Putin a Greater Threat Than ISIS

Senator John McCainUS Senator John McCain said Monday in an interview he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin poses a bigger threat to the US and world security than Daesh terrorists.

McCain told the Australian Broadcasting Company’s 7.30 program as he visited Canberra for security talks that although it is true that jihadist radicals can do a lot of harm, it was Russia that had jeopardized democracy by allegedly interfering in last year’s election in the US.

“I view the Russians as the far greatest challenge that we have,” he said.

Moscow has repeatedly refuted the US allegations, saying it has no intention of meddling in the internal affairs of other states. Last week, Press Secretary of the Russian Embassy in the United States Nikolay Lakhonin condemned the spread of anti-Russia hysteria, saying that the US establishment and the country’s mainstream media have “zombified each other” with the perception of Russia as a “hostile foreign power.”

MCCain admitted he has seen no evidence Russia succeeded in its effort to influence the outcome of the election but insisted that it tried and continues to try to change elections in other countries.

Trump revealed intelligence secrets to Russians in Oval Office: US officials

U.S. President Donald Trump disclosed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister about a planned Islamic State operation during their meeting last week, two U.S. officials with knowledge of the situation said on Monday.

The intelligence shared at the meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, was supplied by a U.S. ally in the fight against the militant group, both officials said.

 The White House said the allegations, first reported by the Washington Post, were not true.

“The story that came out tonight as reported is false,” H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, told reporters at the White House, adding that the two men reviewed a range of common threats including to civil aviation.

“At no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed. The president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known. … I was in the room. It didn’t happen,” he said.

The White House also released a statement from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said the meeting focused on counterterrorism, and from deputy national security adviser Dina Powell, who said the Post story was false.

Erdogan Declares Victory In Turkey’s Constitutional Referendum Tyler Durden’s picture by Tyler Durden

With over 97% of ballots counted, Turkey’s president Erdogan and soon, quasi dictator, declared victory in the Turkish referendum and called the leaders of three political parties supporting changes to the constitution to congratulate them on the victory, Anadolu news agency reported, and added rather comically that “many world leaders send congratulatory messages to President Erdogan.” One wonders who exactly…

Absent some last minute fireworks, Turkey is now set to shift to a presidential system as the outcome of the referendum puts “Yes” votes at 51.3%, according to unofficial sources.

“Yes” votes were ahead at 51.3% or 24.598.880 votes, while “No” votes fell behind at 48.6% or 23,326,636 votes. “Yes” votes prevailed in four of Turkey’s seven regions, including southeastern Anatolia.

The reforms were approved by 339 deputies on January 21st, and Erdo?an signed the amendments on February 10th. Under the proposed changes, the post of prime minister is abolished and the president, vice president(s) and cabinet officials can be investigated by the parliament. The current system has no mechanism that monitors presidential conduct.

LDP passes rule change that could see Abe remain PM until 2021

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party decided Sunday to extend its term limit on party leaders, potentially allowing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to remain in his role until September 2021.

Abe’s tenure as president of the LDP was set to run out in September next year before the rule change, which would have meant stepping down as prime minister even if the LDP was still in power.

 The party, holding its annual convention at a Tokyo hotel, approved extending the limit to three consecutive three-year terms from the previous two consecutive three-year terms.

This means Abe can stand for re-election in the next party leadership vote in the fall of next year.

Abe, 62, served as prime minister for around a year before resigning in September 2007. He became prime minister again when the LDP returned to power in December 2012 after a three-year period in opposition.

Traders Throw In The Towel On March Rate Hike

As we previously noted, while speculatrs had been reducing their shorts in Treasury futures, they had added to Eurodollar shorts – pushing their bets on Fed rate hikes to record highs. However, as Bloomberg notes, signals are starting to emerge that traders who built up that heavy short, or hawkish, eurodollar base since the start of 2016 could be starting to throw in the towel on a March Fed rate hike.

CME confirmed that Wednesday saw record volume in fed fund futures of 658.7k contracts, beating the previous record of 613k on Nov. 9, the day after the U.S. presidential election. Over the course of Wednesday’s session, a total of 283k Apr fed funds futures contracts traded, largest single-day volume seen in the contract. Open interest in the contract rose by 109k, suggesting some short covering before the minutes and potential new longs after the minutes.

Senate confirms Steven Mnuchin as US Treasury secretary

The US Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump’s nomination for treasury secretary, a former Goldman Sachs banker and hedge fund manager.

The Senate confirmed Steve Mnuchin’s nomination to be secretary of the Department of the Treasury by a vote of 53-47.

Mr Mnuchin spent 17 years at Goldman before becoming a hedge fund manager, film financier and chairman of Pasadena-based OneWest Bank. His confirmation as secretary means that former Goldman employees hold two of the top economic jobs in the US, as former president and chief operating officer Gary Cohn left the bank to become director of the White House’s National Economic Council.

US court refuses to immediately restore Trump travel ban

A U.S. appeal court late on Saturday denied a request from the U.S. Department of Justice to immediately restore a immigration order from President Donald Trump barring citizens from seven mainly Muslim countries and temporarily banning refugees.

The court ruling dealt a further setback to Trump, who has denounced the judge in the state of Washington who blocked his executive order on Friday. In tweets and comments to reporters, the president has insisted he will get the ban reinstated.

 Trump says the temporary immigration restrictions on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and on all refugees, are necessary to protect the United States from Islamist militants. Critics say they are unjustified and discriminatory.

The judge’s order and the appeal ruling have created what may be a short-lived opportunity for travelers from the seven affected countries to get into the United States while the legal uncertainty continues.

In a brief order, the appeals court said the government’s request for an immediate administrative stay on the Washington judge’s decision had been denied. It was awaiting further submissions from Washington and Minnesota states on Sunday, and from the government on Monday.

The government’s appeal says the decision by judge James Robart in Washington poses an immediate harm to the public, thwarts enforcement of an executive order and “second-guesses the president’s national security judgment about the quantum of risk posed by the admission of certain classes of (non-citizens) and the best means of minimizing that risk”.

Trump denounced the “so-called” judge in a series of tweets on Saturday and told reporters: “We’ll win. For the safety of the country, we’ll win.”

IRAQI FAMILY

The president’s Jan. 27 order has drawn criticism even from U.S. allies and created chaos for thousands of people who have, in some cases, spent years seeking asylum in the United States.

Iraqi Fuad Sharef, together with his wife and three children, spent two years obtaining U.S. visas, and had packed up to move to America last week, but were turned back to Iraq after a failed attempt to board a U.S.-bound flight from Cairo.

Federal Judge Grants Partial Block Of Trump Immigration Order

Symbolic war broke out between the Judicial and Executive branches shortly before 9pm on Saturday evening, when federal judge Ann Donnelly in the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn issued an emergency stay halting Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven mostly Muslim nations entering the US, and temporarily letting people who landed in U.S. with valid visa to remain on US territory, saying removing the refugees could cause “irreparable harm”.

The court’s ruling was in response to a petition filed on Saturday morning by the ACLU on behalf of the two Iraqi men who were initially detained at JFK International Airport on Friday night after Trump’s ban, and were subsequently granted entry into the US.

The ACLU issued the following statement following the court ruling:

 A federal judge tonight granted the American Civil Liberties Union’s request for a nationwide temporary injunction that will block the deportation of all people stranded in U.S. airports under President Trump’s new Muslim ban. The ACLU and other legal organizations filed a lawsuit on behalf of individuals subject to President Trump’s Muslim ban. The lead plaintiffs have been detained by the U.S. government and threatened with deportation even though they have valid visas to enter the United States.

Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project who argued the case, said:

“This ruling preserves the status quo and ensures that people who have been granted permission to be in this country are not illegally removed off U.S. soil.”

ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero, had this reaction to the ruling:

“Clearly the judge understood the possibility for irreparable harm to hundreds of immigrants and lawful visitors to this country. Our courts today worked as they should as bulwarks against government abuse or unconstitutional policies and orders. On week one, Donald Trump suffered his first loss in court.

However, while some media reports present the court ruling as a wholesale victory over Trump’s order, the stay only covers the airport detainees and those currently in transit, and it does not change the ban going forward.

Judge Donnelly has ordered the federal government to provide a list of all people currently held in detention. Where the stay falls short is that according to the ACLU’s lawyer, there still can be no new arrivals from countries under the ban, but the ACLU and other organizations are working to file additional suits to roll back other portions of the order.

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A detailed read of Judge Donnelly’s ruling, per Josh Blackman, reveals that the order states that petitioners have shown a “strong likelihood of success” and that their removal would violate the Due Process and Equal Protection clause, and cause irreparable injury. (Note, this order only applies to those already in the country, and thus protected by the Constitution; the same analysis does not apply to those outside the United States).

As a result, the court issues what is effectively a nationwide stay, enjoining all of the named respondents, including President Trump, Secretary Kelly, and the acting director of the CBP, from the “commission of further acts and misconduct  in violation of the Constitution as described in the Emergency Motion for Stay of Removal.

The key part is what they are enjoined from doing: