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House Dems ditch terrorism subcommittee, plan to investigate Trump's 'questionable activities' instead


Vital national security interests will take a back seat

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If it was not clear already, then a decision by the new chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee makes it crystal clear that Democrats will primarily focus on opposing President Donald Trump for the next two years.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) announced this week he intends eliminate the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism in lieu of a new subcommittee devoted to investigating Trump.

What are the details?

Speaking with the New Yorker, Engel claimed there "wasn't a great clamor" to keep the terrorism subcommittee while there is much excitement among Democratic members to investigate Trump's many foreign policy "scandals."

"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," Engel told the New Yorker.

The New Yorker summed up Engel's comments: "Trump, in other words, is a bigger threat than terrorism. At least for now."

Specifically, the subcommittee intends to investigate Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last summer, Trump's business dealings with Russia and in the Middle East, North Korea and Trump's alleged falling "in love" with dictator Kim Jong Un, the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Trump's decisions in the Syrian civil war, among countless other issues.

Meanwhile, vital foreign policy issues important to U.S. national security will take a back seat.

Why is this significant?

Aside from the assertion that Trump is a "bigger threat" than terrorism, the move would be a drastic procedural change. As the New Yorker noted, the House Foreign Affairs Committee almost never initiates investigations. Rather, the committee traditionally holds hearings to examine policies — not people.

But in the age of Trump, the Democratic-controlled House cements its top agenda item will be various Trump investigations.

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