The Trump administration must be prepared to see the new majority in the House of Representatives control their work more.
Elijah Cummings took on his goal weeks before the election. US President Donald Trump, the 67-year-old Democrat said, is a person who calls "a lie 'the truth' and the truth 'a lie'." Cummings, according to media reports has already created a list – with inconsistencies, affairs, alleged violations of the White House.
He will now be able to work through this list: Cummings, a member of the House of Representatives from Baltimore since 1996, is likely to become the new chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee after the Democrats regain their majority vote ,
Cummings and the Democrats can cause President Trump a lot of trouble in the following months. For the Congress and its committees play an important role in the "checks and balances" system. The Democratic Group leader Nancy Pelosi – after her party's victory, she is likely to be the new chairman of the House of Representatives – has already stated that she will "restore" the system of "checks and balances". Say: Trump's government must prepare for tougher controls. The deputies are equipped for this task by the constitution with comprehensive rights. Who controls the respective congress chamber, can initiate investigations and – similar to a court – summon witnesses and request documents (subpoena power).
Cummings' committee has traditionally played a key role in this. The Republicans know this very well, they have often and gladly used this instrument themselves. In the second term of Bill Clinton, for example, between 1997 and 2001. The Republican-controlled committee dispatched hundreds of subpoenas to shed light on the Democrat's official business.
Such maneuvers serve not only to examine the governance of the government for its legality. They are also a way to demonstrate and damage the political opponent. A rule of US policy is: After the Midterms begins the presidential election campaign. Democrats like Cummings will also see it as their task in the coming months and years to weaken candidate Trump in order to bring benefits to his – as yet unnamed – challenger in 2020.
There are plenty of opportunities to demonstrate to the president. Cummings and other Democrats have already mentioned a few things before the interim election, which they now want to examine with their newly won power in the House of Representatives. A selection:
Investigations in this affair have been ongoing since 2017, mainly under the leadership of law enforcement and counterintelligence. The investigation by special investigator Robert Mueller, which was initiated by the Ministry of Justice, will primarily address the question of whether the presidential elections of 2016 were influenced by foreign powers – especially Russia. And whether Trump's campaign team had something to do with such an influence.
The investigation has already led to charges against prominent persons from Trump's circle of hate, such as his ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort. There have also been hearings in Congress, but they have been organized by the Republicans. With their new majority, Democrats can now push the investigation into the House of Representatives. Adam Schiff, a Democratic member of the House's Intelligence Committee, has already stated that the investigation of Trump's Russia connections has "high priority" in the event of a victory. And soon to be special mediator Mueller submit his report.
The businesses of the Trump family
The "emoluments clause" of the US Constitution prohibits members of the government from accepting gifts, salaries and any forms of emoluments from foreign powers. But the Trump family now has a vast economic and hotel empire that also does business beyond the borders of the US, such as in China. Cummings suspects that there is a constant violation of the Constitution. With this justification, MEPs can make the Trump finances the subject of a parliamentary inquiry. Unlike his predecessors, Trump has not yet disclosed his tax return. Now the Democrats could force him to be more transparent.
The appointment of Judge Kavanaugh
This episode is already finished. Trump's controversial candidate Brett Kavanaugh has been a sworn member of the Supreme Court since early October. But his hearing, which also included allegations of abuse by a former teenage boy, left unanswered questions. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for appointing new judges, has dropped the allegations of abuse on two unspecified testimonies, Cummings said. He wanted to take a closer look. Kavanaugh's appointment was a major prestige project for Trump – if the Supreme Judge were to be damaged in retrospect, it would also be harm to the President.
Saudi Arabia and the Khashoggi murder
The brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate of his home country in Istanbul has shaken the world and caused serious diplomatic complications. Trump acted plump during the scandal, taking the Saudi King Salman early on and then judging the killing of the journalist as "the worst secret operation of all time". Reason enough to thoroughly investigate the government's Saudi Arabia policy, said Eliot Engel, Democratic Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He accused Trump of helping King Salman cover up the crime.
And there is more
Trump's hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels; the controversial decision to give his son-in-law Jared Kushner the highest security clearance; the expulsion of FBI boss James Comey; The suspicion that Trump handles confidential affairs in his private club Mar-a-Lago – US media already publish long lists of topics that could be examined by the Democrats in the House of Representatives. As new scandals and scandals are constantly added, it is questionable whether the Democratic deputies can work at all, what would be offered for an investigation.
What the new power is not enough for
With the majority in the House of Representatives, the Democrats Trump can cause a lot of trouble. Comprehensive control is still the power to block important laws that often require the approval of both chambers of parliament. What the Democrats can not do with all their power, however, is the dismissal of the president through an impeachment procedure. This last and most powerful weapon of parliament against a president has rarely been used in US history – and it has never succeeded. An impeachment is initiated by the House of Representatives – there the Democrats would have the power. But for a president to be effectively deposed, a two-thirds majority is needed in the Senate. And in the Senate, the Republicans even put on seats.