The Democrat who has taken over the House Foreign Affairs Committee has indicated that he will eliminate the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism and replace it with a subcommittee to investigate President Trump.
Eliot Engel (D-NY) told The New Yorker that he would eliminate the terrorism subcommittee, claiming there “wasn’t a great clamor” to keep it. Engel added that in contrast, his members are eager to pursue what they regard as the teeming number of Trump foreign-policy scandals. Engel insisted, “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.”
The New Yorker, always a bastion of leftist thought, succinctly summed up, “Trump, in other words, is a bigger threat than terrorism. At least for now.” The New Yorker notes that the Foreign Affairs Committee does not normally spend its time investigating issues, rather, it holds hearings on foreign issues of note. The New Yorker surmises that under Engel, international crises will be a part of the new committee’s agenda but will not “top its agenda, which 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.”
Asked what he planned to investigate, Engel replied that one issue will be what Trump agreed to when he met privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin last year. He commented, “It’s been many months since Helsinki, and we still don’t know what Putin and Trump talked about.” Additionally, Engel named “the business interests of the President” and how Trump’s financial dealings have “affected what he’s done in foreign policy.”
Engel said smugly, “Many other committees would love to poach some of our jurisdiction.”
The New Yorker tried to justify the new emphasis of the committee, writing, “But 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.”
Other Trump-related issues Engel plans to address: Trump's relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the death of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi; the relationship between the Saudi Crown Prince and the Trump family, and Trump’s decisions regarding Syria.
The New Yorker trumpeted: “For Engel and the other newly empowered Democrats in the House of Representatives, it’s a moment to show whether they can do more than assert their relevance. Will all the investigations and subpoenas amount to more than political posturing against the President?”
Engel’s vitriol regarding Trump has been displayed before; last July he wrote on Facebook:
President Trump has again tried to play the arsonist and the fireman at the NATO summit—nearly burning the alliance to the ground, then taking credit for extinguishing the fire he lit. Frankly, his reckless behavior has hurt the alliance, undermined American leadership, and played into Russia’s hands.
The President’s conduct would be laughable if the stakes weren’t so high. His claims of new concessions from the allies are nonsense. Our allies did nothing but reaffirm commitments made four years ago at the Wales Summit. This imbroglio accomplished nothing except to show that under Mr. Trump’s so-called leadership, the United States has become a bully, a bad friend, and an unreliable ally. More and more, "America First" is "America Alone."