TRUMP’S FOR­EIGN POL­ICY COULD NOW CHANGE

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - 09 - IAN BREM­MER

The votes have now been counted in the first US na­tional elec­tion of the Donald Trump era and, as ex­pected, the Democrats have seized ma­jor­ity con­trol of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, sig­nif­i­cantly shift­ing the po­lit­i­cal bal­ance of power away from Trump’s party. The pres­i­dent’s Repub­li­can Party ex­panded its ma­jor­ity con­trol of the US Se­nate, but the Democrats now have real power for the first time in two years.

This re­sult was not as clear a re­pu­di­a­tion of the pres­i­dent and his party as vot­ers de­liv­ered against Barack Obama’s Democrats in 2010, but it is sig­nif­i­cant none­the­less. Much more than Obama and other presidents of the past, Trump in­vited vot­ers and the me­dia to treat this elec­tion as a ref­er­en­dum on his per­for­mance in the White House. An­gry Democrats, and a good num­ber of vot­ers un­af­fil­i­ated with ei­ther party, turned out to vote against him in large num­bers.

Where does pres­i­dent Trump go from here? How will the new re­al­ity in Wash­ing­ton in­flu­ence his for­eign pol­icy? First, Trump will face a height­ened level of po­lit­i­cal pressure from the op­po­si­tion party. With their House ma­jor­ity, Democrats have new pow­ers to in­ves­ti­gate the pres­i­dent, win ac­cess to White House and per­sonal Trump doc­u­ments that may deeply em­bar­rass him, and force mem­bers of his ad­min­is­tra­tion, per­haps even his fam­ily, to tes­tify un­der oath be­fore Congress on a wide variety of ques­tions.

There will also be pressure on the Demo­cratic House ma­jor­ity to im­peach the pres­i­dent. Democrats will likely wait un­til Spe­cial Coun­sel Robert Mueller de­liv­ers a re­port on pos­si­ble crim­i­nal con­spir­acy be­tween the 2016 Trump pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and the Rus­sian govern­ment and the pos­si­bil­ity that Trump has ob­structed jus­tice dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Pres­i­dent Trump will re­spond to

NEWS OF THE WEEK

NOVEMBER 13: The cri­sis in the Congress Party ex­ploded into a trial of strength be­tween the two groups as the Congress Work­ing Com­mit­tee took the dras­tic step of ex­pelling Prime Min­is­ter Indira Gandhi from the pri­mary mem­ber­ship of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

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