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Trump Signs Sanctions, But Warns Congress of Unconstitutionality

Aug. 2, 2017 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump signed H.R. 3364, the "Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act," into law today. He issued a statement with the signing denouncing it for "including a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions." These include:

  • Violating "the President’s exclusive constitutional authority to recognize foreign governments, including their territorial bounds;"

  • Allowing Congress to change the law without going through the Constitutionally prescribed procedures;

  • Directing executive branch employees to "undertake certain diplomatic initiatives" without Presidential authorization; and

  • Preventing the President, in some cases, from receiving Ambassadors as provided for in Article II, section 3 of the Constitution.

Trump pledged,

"My Administration will give careful and respectful consideration to the preferences expressed by the Congress ... and will implement them in a manner consistent with the President’s constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations."

He then concluded with the admonition,

"My Administration particularly expects the Congress to refrain from using this flawed bill to hinder our important work with European allies to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, and from using it to hinder our efforts to address any unintended consequences it may have for American businesses, our friends or our allies."

In a separate, more personal statement, Trump said "The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President. This bill will prove the wisdom of that choice."