Five Minutes Five Issues: Trump’s Oath, Renouncing Citizenship, North Korea, Syria Goal, Trump Crime
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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.
Starting in five four three two one.
Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.
On Wednesday, United States President Donald Trump signed into law HR 3364, legislation expanding and strengthening sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. The same day, Trump issued a so-called signing statement in which he wrote that “Congress included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions” in the bill.
Trump also did not oppose the bill as it made its way through the House of Representatives and Senate, though, in another Wednesday statement, Trump said his administration worked with Congress to “make this bill better.”
Shouldn’t Trump veto legislation he thinks is unconstitutional? Trump has an obligation beyond just working to make bills “better.” That obligation, defined in the oath of office he swore on January 20, includes acting to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Robert W. Wood wrote Friday at Forbes regarding the increased number of people renouncing their US citizenship.
One fact in Wood’s report struck me as particularly outrageous: An individual is required to pay the US government a $2,350 fee to renounce his citizenship.
Most people who are US citizens did not choose to be such. They had that citizenship thrust on them as a matter of law upon their birth. To make people pay to give up citizenship for which they never asked is an abomination.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared in a Tuesday press briefing that the US government would talk with the North Korea government, but only if “there is no future where North Korea holds nuclear weapons or the ability to deliver those nuclear weapons to anyone in the region, much less the [American] homeland.”
That sounds much like what the US said to the Libya government years back. After Libya gave up its nuclear and other weapons programs, the US helped overthrow the Libya government and bring about the continuing dangerous chaos in the country.
In his Tuesday statement to reporters, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared, “it continues to be our view that the Assad regime has no role in the future governing of Syria.”
At Twitter, Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams noted that Tillerson’s comment makes clear that the US government has not given up on the idea of regime change and is just pursuing this goal, familiar from the Obama administration, via other means.
In a Friday article, Jacob Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation offered an interesting speculation concerning the investigation into purported US election meddling by the Russia government.
Hornberger proposes that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is pursuing “a giant wide-ranging fishing expedition in which he and his cohorts are examining evidence in which they hope to find a crime — any crime — on which to get Trump.”
In this fishing expedition, Hornberger argues that Trump will be in particular danger because, as a businessman and builder, Trump has operated for decades under extensive and complex US regulations and tax provisions. Further, Hornberger notes, involvement by Trump in any bribes overseas to advance a building project could violate US law even though such bribes are a common practice.
Suppose no strong evidence of a legal violation by Trump is uncovered, Hornberger writes that a subordinate threatened with prosecution “might readily be willing to perjure himself and incriminate Trump to get off the hook as part of the types of sweetheart deals that the feds often offer people to catch bigger fish.”
That’s a wrap.
Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.
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