Embattled Trump marks Armistice Day in Europe


US President Donald Trump joined world leaders in Paris this weekend to mark Armistice Day leaving behind at home a political battle raging over yet another top-level aide firing and growing calls for his impeachment.
Mr Trump had been scheduled to visit two American cemeteries but later cancelled his trip to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial due to “scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather.”
But at home there is still fallout over Mr Trump’s firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and also relieving Mr Sessions’ deputy of duty overseeing the probe into alleged Russian election interference and links with the Trump campaign.
As Matthew Whitaker, Mr Sessions’ chief of staff, became acting attorney general, questions have been raised about the future of the inquiry led by the special counsel, Robert Mueller.
Until now, Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, had been overseeing the investigation because Mr Sessions had recused himself in March last year saying he had been active in Mr Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Mr Trump had publicly criticized Mr Sessions for recusing himself, claiming Mr Sessions should have protected Mr Trump against what Mr Trump called a “witch-hunt” over Russia.
Mr Whitaker wrote an article for CNN last year claiming that the special counsel was “going too far” and needed to be brought under control.
On Thursday thousands protested in the streets over the firing and calls for impeachment of Mr Trump were loud in the air, rekindled after a previous wave of calls linked with allegations surrounding Mr Trump.
London’s The Guardian newspaper reported that Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard University, said Mr Trump’s replacement of Mr Sessions with Mr Whitaker was arguably an impeachable offence in itself.
Mr Tribe reportedly said: “This rule of law crisis has been a slow-motion train wreck for a long time.”
Impeachment is a process involving Congress putting a standing US official on trial. The charge is “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”, according to Article Two of the US Constitution.
The process would have to go through both the House of Representatives and the Senate, so although the Democrats now control the House, the Republicans kept control of the Senate on Tuesday, therefore it is unlikely Congress would remove Mr Trump from office.
The Guardian also reported that former CIA chief John Brennan predicted that it was possible Mr Mueller had already completed his narrative for Mr Rosenstein, reporting him as saying: “If there are some major indictments coming down the pike, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re going to see it very soon.
“Generally the report that the special counsel will draft and deliver to Rod Rosenstein, I wouldn’t be surprised if that is ready to go.”
Last week the general tension in the US was highlighted when a 48-year-old man was thrown into custody and charged with terrorist threats after a confrontation at a mid-term polling station.
Christopher Queen went to vote at the South Franklin Township in western Pennsylvania but after being told he wasn’t registered, he allegedly threatened to return with a gun and “shoot up” the polling place.
Mr Queen was arrested a few blocks from the polling place, taken into custody and charged with making terroristic threats and disorderly conduct.
Voting was marred by delays – sometimes up to several hours – with long lines of people and malfunctioning machines across the US with some of the biggest problems in Georgia and New York. Even severe weather and humidity caused some problems.
Meantime, Mr Trump has raised more than $100 million for his 2020 re-election campaign. He took the unusual step of filing for re-election on the day he took office in 2016.

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