Senate to vote down declaration

Senate to vote down declaration

Congress is poised to block US President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration, with a number of Republicans now siding with Democrats in the Senate.

The Hill reports Senator Rand Paul has become the fourth Republican to announce he will vote against the President’s declaration, intended to fund a border wall between the US and Mexico.

“I can’t vote to give the president the power to spend money that hasn’t been appropriated by Congress. We may want more money for border security, but Congress didn’t authorise it. If we take away those checks and balances, it’s a dangerous thing,” he told Bowling Green Daily News.

The report comes after the US House of Representatives passed a resolution to revoke Mr Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, handing the President a stinging rebuke.

In a 245-182 vote, the Democratic-majority house rejected Mr Trump’s declaration and forced the Senate to vote on the bill.

Democrats need Republican votes for the bill to pass the senate. Mr Trump is likely to veto any resolution that rejects the declaration. If he does veto the bill, it will be the first of his presidency.

Mr Trump has also threatened Republicans who turn on him over the wall.

He told Fox News this week that those who vote to block his “emergency” scheme are putting themselves “at great jeopardy.”

The declaration has also faced mounting legal challenges.

TROUBLE FOR TRUMP

The head of the US House Judiciary Committee say the panel would seek documents from more than 60 people and entities as part of a probe into possible obstruction of justice and abuse of power by US President Donald Trump.

Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler told This Week in the US that the panel wanted to get documents from the Department of Justice, the president’s son Donald Trump Jr and Trump Organisation chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, among others.

“We are going to initiate investigations into abuses of power, into corruption … and into obstruction of justice,” Mr Nadler said.

“It’s our job to protect the rule of law. It’s very clear that the president obstructed justice,” Mr Nadler said.

Mr Trump took to Twitter to defend himself, saying, “I am an innocent man being persecuted by some very bad, conflicted & corrupt people in a Witch Hunt that is illegal & should never have been allowed to start — And only because I won the Election! Despite this, great success!”

Mr Nadler said it was too soon to consider whether impeachment should be pursued, however.

“Before you impeach somebody, you have to persuade the American public that it ought to happen,” he said.

As evidence of obstruction, Mr Nadler cited Mr Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey, who at the time was leading an investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election and possible collusion between Mr Trump’s campaign and Moscow.

That investigation was subsequently taken over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is expected to deliver his findings to the US Attorney-General within weeks.

Mr Nadler also cited what he called Mr Trump’s attempts to intimidate witnesses in the investigation.

The White House, the Justice Department and the Trump Organisation did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mr Nadler said the committee on Monday would release the list of people and organisations it would be requesting documents from.

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