Trump/Putin Secret Meeting Investigation Announcement Stuns Fragile White House

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In the midst of the longest-running government shutdown in U.S. history, so many very impactful stories that threatened the presidency of Donald Trump have been lost that it’s difficult to keep track. For instance, just prior to the shutdown, Americans learned that its current president was investigated by the FBI as a possible agent for a hostile foreign government. Additionally, we learned that Trump demanded all copies of the transcript of the meeting he held with the leader of that hostile foreign country, Vladimir Putin, be handed over to him and kept private.

In an interview with The New Yorker, Engel says that the agenda for the Foreign Affairs Committee under new House leadership “will be dominated, as so many other areas of our public life now are, by President Trump’s uniquely chaotic and unsettling approach to the rest of the world.” This includes that infamous Helsinki meeting between Trump and Putin. While top leaders in the committee have not yet been chosen and confirmed, Engel says that there a general consensus that this should be a primary focus.

‘No matter who holds the gavel, the investigation is certain to start with the question of what, exactly, Trump agreed to in his private meeting with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, last summer.’

In an absolutely explosive piece from the interview, Engel said that the panel within the House Foreign Affairs Committee on terrorism will be shut down and replaced by a panel investigating Trump’s ties to Putin. While that may seem extreme, Engel explained that, currently, Trump is actually the bigger threat.

‘It is telling that this is the subcommittee that Engel will now eliminate in favor of his new investigative panel. There “wasn’t a great clamor” to keep the terrorism panel, Engel told me, whereas there is no end to the Trump foreign-policy scandals that his members are pushing to investigate. “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.” Trump, in other words, is a bigger threat than terrorism. At least for now.’

Engel believes that looking at Trump’s business interests will expose much that the committee needs to learn. So many of the questionable moves Trump has made as president in regards to foreign affairs seem to be tied to his own business interests.

‘A probe of Trump, Inc., given the President’s tendency to conflate his personal interests with the national interest, now seems indispensable to the foreign-policy concerns of the day, whether it’s explaining Trump’s otherwise hard-to-fathom pro-Russia tilt or shedding light on his family’s pursuit of business deals with Middle Eastern figures who are also key to Trump’s geopolitical priorities. It’s “incumbent upon us to look at that,” Engel said.’

Featured image via Flickr by Gage Skidmore under a Creative Commons license