Long before the public release of the Mueller report, Democrats knew that impeachment create a trove of political uncertainties and explosions. Still, freshman members of Congress including Freshman New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez say that the contents of the newly released report call for Congress to investigate whether Trump made attempts obstruct justice.
The Democratic congresswoman says that Mueller’s report has left a new priority “on our doorstep.”
Ocasio-Cortez, who had not made impeaching Trump a priority amongst her proposals for her Green New resolution and Medicare for All on her campaign, says Mueller’s report is a call to Congress. In a response to the 448-page long report, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that “While I understand the political reality of the Senate + election considerations, upon reading this DoJ report, which explicitly names Congress in determining obstruction, I cannot see a reason for us to abdicate from our constitutionally mandated responsibility to investigate.”
As a result, Ocasio-Cortez says she will sign Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s impeachment resolution which she introduced last month.
“Mueller’s report is clear in pointing to Congress’ responsibility in investigating obstruction of justice by the President. It is our job as outlined in Article 1, Sec 2, Clause 5 of the US Constitution,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “As such, I’ll be signing onto [Rep. Rashida Tlaib]’s impeachment resolution.”
In the report conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the ways in which the president attempted to block the investigation into the Russian government’s role in his 2016 presidential campaign are outlined in full.
While Mueller detailed some pretty damning information, he did not outrightly say that Trump had committed obstruction of justice and wrote that he would let the decision of raising any charges to Congress.
In his report, Mueller writes “With respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has the authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.”
Tlaib’s resolution and the issue of impeachment is unlikely to gain traction with the Democratic leadership, who are more interested in defeating Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Instead, they are attempting to hear directly from Mueller. “As we continue to review the report,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement, “one thing is clear: Attorney General Barr presented a conclusion that the president did not obstruct justice while Mueller’s report appears to undercut that finding.”
Peru is facing one of the greatest crises the nation has faced. Just as the country seemed to be emerging from the worst of its battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, the country has entered a severe political crisis.
In less than a week, the country is on the verge of seeing its third president – if legislators can find someone able and willing to take the job. In the meantime, protesters are making their voices heard in cities all across the country and police are using violence and oppression to silence them.
For a country that was turning the bend on the pandemic, how exactly did Peru end up crashing into one crisis from another?
Peru’s interim-President has resigned just days after assuming the office.
Peruvians woke up on Monday morning still wondering who would be their new head of state after lawmakers failed overnight to name a replacement to become the country’s third president in a week.
It was less than 24 hours earlier that the country’s interim leader Manuel Merino was forced to resign. Following a week of protests against the removal of former President Martín Vizcarra, police responded with increased force over the weekend.
Saturday’s protests in Lima, which are mostly being led by young Peruvians, were largely peaceful but clashes broke out towards the evening between police and protesters. Police reportedly fired tear gas and shotgun pellets to repel demonstrators, some of whom had thrown fireworks and stones. Two students, Jack Pintado, 22, and Inti Sotelo, 24, were killed in the protests.
Politicians immediately called for Merino’s resignation following the violent crackdown. In fact, twelve of his own ministers (of his recently appointed cabinet) resigned in protest against police brutality and his handling of the crisis.
“I want to let the whole country know that I’m resigning,” Merino said in a televised address.
It’s still not clear who will be selected to take over the country until elections can be held in April.
On Sunday, legislators failed to approve Rocío Silva-Santisteban, a leftist human rights defender, as the next interim leader – even though he was the only name put forward for consideration.
The country’s fragmented and unpopular legislature will vote again on Monday when another name will be on the list: lawmaker Francisco Sagasti, a 76-year-old industrial engineer and former World Bank official.
Peru’s political upheaval adds to the uncertainty facing the country as it was already hit devastatingly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many fear that the ongoing crisis will lead to the worst economic contraction the country has seen in more than a century.
The political crisis started just last week when the elected president was impeached and removed from office.
It was just last week that the nation’s elected leader – ex-President Martín Vizcarra – was impeached and removed from office by Congress over allegations of corruption.
Since taking office in March 2018, Vizcarra was embroiled in a bitter battle with Congress, which is made up of rival parties. During his presidency, he worked to combat corruption throughout the country’s legislature. Half of the lawmakers are under investigation or indictment for alleged crimes including money laundering and homicide.
And as president, he enjoyed support among the public and voters but it was ultimately the allegations of bribery that brought him down. He has denied allegations that he accepted bribes worth 2.3 million soles ($640,000) when he was governor of the southern Moquegua region.
The former president has asked the country’s highest court to weigh in. “It can’t be that the institution that got us into this political crisis, that has for five days paralyzed Peru, with deaths, is going to give us a solution, choosing the person who they best see fit,” Vizcarra said, according to The Associated Press.
The country was just emerging from what seemed the worst of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Many are concerned about the country’s short and long-term future, as a growing political and constitutional crisis seems likely. At the beginning of the pandemic, Peru imposed one of the earliest and strictest lockdowns in Latin America to stop the spread of coronavirus – but has still seen cases rise rapidly.
As we previously reported, different world leaders gave very different responses to Biden’s win and Trump’s loss of the recent presidential election.
While Mexican President López Obrador is making headlines for refusing to acknowledge Biden’s victory “until all the legal matters have been resolved,” another Latin American president is grabbing the media’s attention for a recent remark he made.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro surprised everyone by recently telling a group of students that Trump “isn’t the most important person in the world.”
“I’m not the most important person in Brazil, just as Trump isn’t the most important person in the world,” he told a graduating class of police cadets. “No one is more important than God.” This statement raised eyebrows because up until this point, Bolsonaro acted like Trump was, indeed, the most important person in the world.
Throughout his presidency, Bolsonaro has made a public display of his respect and admiration for President trump. In fact he was so complimentary of Trump that the media dubbed him the “Trump of the Tropics”. He went so far as to tell Trump “I love you” at a meeting between the two world leaders in at a United Nations conference in 2019.
The similarities between the two blustering leaders are numerous.
They both practice populist, nationalistic, authoritarian tendencies. They both have placed their children in high-ranking government positions. They both love to use the term “fake news”.
Since Trump’s defeat, Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo has continued to publicly voice his support of Trump. He recently Tweeted out a statement implying that Americans are “naive” and “puppets” of social media conglomerates who are dictating to us what is “real or fake” based on their selfish desires. He also Tweeted out that “disinformation is the weapon of the left.”
But sources close to President Bolsonaro say that he has adopted a “more pragmatic tone” since his advisors told him that Trump wouldn’t be the next President of the United States.
Although Bolsonaro appears to have distanced himself from Trump he, still, reportedly has not congratulated Biden on his win. But nevertheless, he no longer seems to be as head-over-heels with Trump as he did when Trump was at the height of his power. Bolsonaro’s attitude reversal begs the question: if he can forsake his “friend” and role model Donald Trump, we wonder what other former sycophants are next in line to cut ties with the sitting duck president.