Turmoil seen in wake of US midterm elections
DAYS after last Tuesday’s midterm elections, Washington, DC, appears headed for a political war as the House of Representatives, now controlled by the opposition Democrats, prepared to probe several issues involving President Trump who has, in turn, warned of a “warlike posture” if the Democrats investigate him.
The Democrats won control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, although Trump’s Republicans retained control of the Senate, even increasing their majority in the chamber.
In the first two years of the Trump administration, the President had managed to fend off efforts to look too closely into many issues involving him and his business interests, as his Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress. Last Tuesday, however, Democrats took more than 30 seats from the Republicans, more than the 23 they needed for majority control.
They are now moving – through the House Oversight Committee, the House Judiciary Committee, and the House Intelligence Committee – to demand to see Trump’s tax returns, which he never revealed during the campaign, look into possible conflicts of interest from his business interests, and into alleged collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign team in 2016.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has long been investigating alleged Russian meddling in the election, a probe which Trump has condemned as a “witch hunt.” The House Judiciary Committee is now expected to deal with any move to impeach Trump should Mueller’s probe support charges of Trump campaign collusion with Moscow.
The day after the election, the US president forced his attorney general to resign and other resignations are expected. He had a sharp exchange of words with a White House reporter who was then banned from the White House. And this was just one day after the election.
In the next two years, the Republicans will seek to consolidate their forces as President Trump launches his campaign for reelection in 2020. In his first two years in office, he has managed to isolate the US from former close allies like Canada and Europe and launch a trade war with China.
The Philippines has not been involved in any of President Trump’s differences and disputes with many countries but we continue to follow developments in the US very closely as a close ally of the US in Asia and to see what we can possibly learn from the US election experience as it applies to political developments in our country.