トランプのイスラエル訪問で、これといった成果はなかった。 短い訪問で、パレスチナ人たちは失望し、ネタニヤフを喜ばせた。

No sign of the ultimate deal as Donald Trump leaves Israel
A brief visit disappoints the Palestinians, but delights Binyamin Netanyahu
May 23rd 2017 | JERUSALEM


DONALD TRUMP arrived in Israel on May 22nd with a surprising message concerning the situation in the Middle East. Going in to dinner with the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, he said he had discovered on the first stop of his trip in Saudi Arabia that “there’s a lot of love out there”. Dutifully, he set about spreading that love with promises of a “coalition” in which both Israel and the Sunni Arab states would co-operate with America in a joint struggle against radical Islamist terrorism and the influence of Iran. 


The tacit alliance between Israel and the Saudis, which do not have diplomatic relations but both see Iran as their mortal enemy, is of course not new. But Mr Trump, whose Air Force One plane took a rare direct route from Riyadh to Tel Aviv, is eager to bring the secret partners out into the open as part of the grand alliance he had outlined a day earlier to an assembly of Sunni Muslim leaders. The Saudis have signalled their willingness for closer ties with Israel; but both sides know that the Palestinian issue imposes limits on how far their relationship can go. 

into the open:公開されて

Even before his inauguration, Mr Trump had spoken of his desire as a master negotiator to deliver what he calls the “ultimate deal”—peace between Israel and the Palestinians. But while he repeated his dream in Jerusalem—and paid a short visit in Bethlehem to the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas—he supplied not the slightest detail on how this deal might be achieved. Not once during his Middle East trip did he mention in public the “two-state solution”, under which Israel and Palestine would recognise each other as sovereign entities, or indeed any form of Palestinian entity at all. 

not the slightest:少しも〜ではない  

He said nothing about Israel’s continued (and internationally condemned) settlement-building in the military-occupied West Bank, nor of its control over the lives of Palestinians there and in the beleaguered Gaza Strip. In Bethlehem Mr Trump lectured President Abbas that “peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded”. But in his speeches in Jerusalem, made do with vague platitudes of how “both Israelis and Palestinians seek lives of hope for their children”. 

beleaguered :困難にあっている

Israeli and American officials insisted that in the closed talks in Jerusalem the president had insisted that he is serious about making peace. But for now at least, he seems to be content on letting the two sides work out the details for themselves. Many observers, perhaps naively, had expected some sign of increased pressure on Israel to make compromises, but Mr Trump gave no hint of that. 


The president did make one concession to the Palestinians, which will have come as a disappointment to the more right-wing elements in the ruling coalition. He pointedly ignored requests to recognise implicitly Israeli sovereignty over the eastern part of Jerusalem, captured 50 years ago next month (see article). Israeli officials were not invited to join him on a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City. 


Neither did he show any indication of being ready to fulfil a campaign promise to move America’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Any such move would infuriate Mr Trump’s Sunni counterparts; and for once he preferred diplomatic orthodoxy to rocking the boat. Still, there was plenty in Mr Trump’s statements, during a visit that lasted little more than 24 hours, that was music to Mr Netanyahu’s ears. He extolled “the unbreakable spirit” and the accomplishments” of the “Jewish people”; and spoke of Israel and America’s “shared values”. He promised that although “Iran’s leaders routinely call for Israel’s destruction—not with Donald J. Trump. Believe me.” 


One name not being mentioned in Jerusalem was that of the former president, Barack Obama. Going off-script in one of his speeches, Mr Trump contrasted his support for Israel with the previous administration’s coolness, saying it was a “big, big, beautiful difference”. During Mr Obama’s administration, despite his rocky personal relationship with Mr Netanyahu and their deep disagreement over the nuclear deal with Iran, Israel enjoyed unprecedented levels of American military aid and intelligence-sharing. But the Obama administration also worked tirelessly to push forward the diplomatic process with the Palestinians, without result. The lavish praise and unspecific promises of Mr Trump mean that Mr Netanyahu can now give his heels a rest from digging in. 

dìg one's héels ìn [ìn one's héels]:(人に屈せず)自分の主張[考え]を貫く.


土曜日。今日は海野塾と出版記念パーティがある。「How to explain Major Controversial Issues of the Japanese Imperial army at WWll: 大東亜戦争における日本軍が行った問題に日本人は英語でどう答えるのか?」ではまた明日。

swingby_blog at 20:33コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


トランプのイスラムに対しての仕切り直し アメリカ大統領はイスラム世界における人権問題を黙認している。

Donald Trump’s reset on Islam
The American president keeps quiet about human rights in the Muslim world
Middle East and Africa
May 21st 2017 | RIYADH


FORGOTTEN, it seems, are his tweets calling them “cowards” and his Facebook post likening them to slaveholders. The people of Saudi Arabia, not least the royal family, seem to care only about what Donald Trump is saying now. And while Candidate Trump taunted the Saudis, President Trump has embraced them, making the kingdom his first foreign destination. In Riyadh, the capital, on May 20th-21st, he sought to reassure Muslim leaders and draw a sharp contrast with Barack Obama’s foreign policy. 

not least:とりわけ

The centrepiece of the trip was a speech by Mr Trump to dozens of Sunni Muslim leaders, which his staff billed as an answer to Mr Obama’s address in Cairo in 2009. In their own way, both presidents sought to reset America’s relations with the Muslim world. But whereas Mr Obama attempted to mend the damage wrought by the war in Iraq, Mr Trump was burdened by his own Islamophobic rhetoric. “I think Islam hates us,” said Mr Trump last year, after calling for a blanket ban on Muslims entering America. His first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, considered Islam a “malignant cancer”. 


Autocrats and dictators must have short memories, because Mr Trump’s appeal to fight extremism, which he now says is “not a battle between different faiths”, but “between good and evil”, seemed to go down well in Riyadh. Perhaps it helped that the president did not push his audience on their generally poor human-rights records, which many analysts think contribute to terrorism. Such hounding was more the way of Mr Obama (who addressed university students in 2009 and firmly stood up for human rights). “We are not here to lecture,” said Mr Trump. “We are not here to tell other people…what to do.” 

fight extremism:宗教の過激思想

The president then told his audience what to do. “The nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them,” said Mr Trump. “A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists.” “Drive them out,” he repeated, five times. To that end, Mr Trump announced the sale of “beautiful” weapons worth $110bn to Saudi Arabia, the opening of the Global Centre for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh and the creation of a Terrorist Financing Targeting Centre. 

No doubt delighting his hosts, and fuelling the sectarian divide within Islam, Mr Trump blamed Iran, which is predominantly Shia, for most of the region’s problems. “From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms and trains terrorists, militias and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region,” said the president (omitting the fact that most jihadists in the Middle East are Sunni, not Shia). A day earlier, Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, even condemned Iran’s human-rights record, which is not notably worse than Saudi Arabia’s. That brief lecture took place only hours after the Iranians re-elected Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate, as their president (see article).


The frequent criticism of Iran was just one way in which Mr Trump and his hosts sought to underscore how different things are under the new administration. Just two years ago, Mr Obama engaged with Mr Rouhani to complete a deal that curbs Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. This realignment upset the Saudis, who gave Mr Obama a cool welcome on his final visit to the kingdom in 2016. By contrast, when Mr Trump stepped off Air Force One, he was greeted by King Salman in a lavish ceremony featuring military jets casting red, white and blue contrails. 

lavish :派手な

But the changes have been in style more than substance. Mr Trump has not ripped up the nuclear agreement with Iran and, like Mr Obama, said he would avoid “sudden interventions” in the region. Moreover, “Obama was pretty good to [the Saudis],” says Thomas Lippman of the Middle East Institute, a think-tank in Washington, DC. He visited the kingdom more times and sold the Saudis more weapons than any other American president before him. In fact, many of the arms deals celebrated by Mr Trump were negotiated under his predecessor, who also provided intelligence support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. 


Next, Mr Trump heads to Israel, where the dynamics at times will be similar those of his Saudi trip. Mr Trump will visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial centre, perhaps to counter accusations of anti-Semitism against some in his administration, after a failure to mention Jews in a statement commemorating the Holocaust earlier this year. The president also plans to propose a path to the “ultimate” peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians (see article). Some may doubt his ability to end the decades-long conflict, but in Riyadh, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s president, described Mr Trump as “a unique personality that is capable of doing the impossible”—to which Mr Trump responded, “I agree.”


金曜日。今朝はEarly Burdsの会合があり、夜はエコノミストのアドバイザーの藤田さんとの会食。では、また明日。

swingby_blog at 21:03コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



Could Donald Trump really be impeached?
MAY 18, 2017 by: Sam Fleming in Washington


Impeachment is not a word people throw around lightly in Washington, but claims that Donald Trump has obstructed the course of justice by attempting to stifle inquiries into his campaign’s links with Russia have intensified over the past 24 hours.  


The furore comes after the disclosure of a memo from former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, which stated that the president urged him to shut down the investigation into Michael Flynn, Mr Trump’s former national security adviser. 


Obstruction of justice is a highly charged issue in US presidential history: both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton faced the accusation. Whether there is a real chance of Mr Trump being removed from office will turn on politics more than legal analysis — and on whether the president himself realises the gravity of the situation and changes course. 


What is Mr Trump accused of doing wrong? 
Lawmakers in both parties were already concerned by Mr Trump’s decision to fire Mr Comey — and his own acknowledgment that he was thinking of “this Russia thing” when he did it. If it is established that the president had previously asked Mr Comey to stop investigating Mr Flynn’s ties to Russia, it will lay him open to accusations that he was trying to prevent the authorities from investigating and applying the law.  

lay him open:さらす・公開する

It is not clear that Mr Trump’s alleged request to Mr Comey — which the White House has denied — would satisfy the normal criminal standard for obstruction of justice. In any case, many legal experts question whether a president can be prosecuted for a crime while in office.  

The bigger issue is whether his conduct could lead him to being impeached. This is a political process in Congress turning on “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanours”. It does not require a clear breach of the criminal code. Justin Amash, a Michigan Republican, said that if the allegations against Mr Trump were true it could be grounds for impeachment.  


How could Mr Trump be removed from office? 
Apart from being booted out by the electorate at the next election in 2020, there are two main ways of ejecting the president. One is through the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, introduced in 1967, which allows for his removal if he is judged to be unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. While some Democratic lawmakers have claimed that Mr Trump may be mentally unfit to continue in office, there is no precedent for this mechanism being deployed. 


The more realistic avenue is through impeachment. This would involve the House judiciary committee launching hearings, before a simple majority of the House of Representatives votes to impeach the president. The latter step would amount to an indictment; the matter would then pass to the Senate, which would need a two-thirds majority to eject the president from office.  


A number of historical episodes are relevant here. Mr Clinton was impeached in 1998 for attempting to cover up an affair with Monica Lewinsky; but the bid to eject him from office was voted down in the Senate. Nixon resigned before the House could impeach him over the Watergate scandal. Back in the 19th century Andrew Johnson narrowly escaped removal from office in a Senate vote.  


How does this relate to the appointment of a special counsel? 
Robert Mueller, the former FBI director, was named on Wednesday to serve as special counsel, overseeing the investigation into Moscow’s meddling in the election and any ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Deputy attorney-general Rod Rosenstein said he was putting the inquiries into the hands of someone with a “degree of independence from the normal chain of command” because of the unique circumstances surrounding the affair. 


Democrats have long been demanding that an independent figure look into allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, and the decision dramatically intensifies the pressure on the White House. While the House and Senate intelligence committees are already looking into the matter, progress has been hampered by partisan squabbles. Meanwhile the FBI, which has also been examining the issue, lacks a director after Mr Comey’s sudden removal by Mr Trump.  


Mr Mueller’s ambit allows him to investigate “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation” into the Russia matter. This would appear to encompass looking into any allegations of obstruction of justice. It also allows him to pursue any criminal prosecutions stemming from the investigation. Any question of impeaching the president would ultimately remain a matter for Congress. 


Who are the other key players now? 
With Republicans in control of the House, the chances of congressional moves against the president will depend on the mood among the Republican leadership and how they read the electorate’s response to the Trump scandals.  Among the key players in the House are Speaker Paul Ryan, who is now supporting calls for memos and recordings of meetings between the president and Mr Comey to be handed over to a key committee, as well as leader Kevin McCarthy, who is a close ally of Mr Trump’s.  

In the Senate, Mitch McConnell, the GOP leader, is the central figure, alongside players including Richard Burr, the chair of the Senate intelligence committee, which is looking into the Russia matter. On Wednesday Mr Burr’s committee called Mr Comey to testify and demanded to see any of his notes on communications with senior White House officials. 

To date most Republicans have been unwilling to openly oppose the president and his legions of supporters, who helped them clinch not only the White House but both wings of Congress. As such, analysts have tended to assume a move to impeach is unlikely unless the Democrats win control of the House in midterm elections in 2018.  

To date:今までの所

However, for a growing number of Republicans the option of ignoring the scandal is becoming untenable. John McCain, the Arizona Republican senator, did not speak for himself only when he said problems engulfing Mr Trump were nearing “Watergate size and scale”.  


If Congress does ultimately go down the impeachment route it would leave the country in a fragile place. Laurence Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School and a former counsellor to President Barack Obama, points out that the millions of voters who supported Mr Trump will see this as a manoeuvre by Democrats to nullify the election result. 

go down:起こる

Nevertheless, he argues that Mr Trump has blatantly violated his oath of office. “It is imperative that people step up and take their own constitutional oaths seriously,” he said.  




swingby_blog at 23:12コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


ドナルド・トランプによる危機、混沌そしてその世界。 アメリカの外交政策を準備する目標は新たな災難を避けることだ。

Crises, chaos and the world according to Donald Trump
The organising goal of US foreign policy is the avoidance of fresh calamities
MAY 18, 2017 by: Philip Stephens


The story told by foreign policy types in Donald Trump’s administration has been one of a president “normalised” by the office. From time to time, this narrative takes hold. Briefly. Then Mr Trump blows it up by sacking the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or sharing sensitive intelligence with the Russian foreign minister. When the Republican senator Robert Corker frets about a “downward spiral” in the White House he is guilty only of understatement. 

takes hold:支配する

Mr Trump is about to set off on his first overseas trip, taking in visits to allies in the Middle East and Europe. This as his presidency is engulfed daily by revelations about the past relationship with Vladimir Putin’s Russia and efforts to deflect investigations into the Kremlin connections. Even before the latest disclosures by the Washington Post and New York Times, the tension in the foreign policy establishment was palpable. The organising goal of US foreign policy has been distilled as the avoidance of fresh calamities. 


Russia apart, the president’s advisers have claimed to have done much in persuading Mr Trump to adjust to international realities. Mr Trump used to think Nato was obsolete. Now he does not. A cheerleader for Brexit, he looked forward to the break-up of the EU. Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel persuaded him the union is here to stay. To prove the point, Mr Trump is planning to visit the headquarters in Brussels of both organisations. 


Officials point to other about-turns. Mr Trump started out telling China’s president Xi Jinping that the US might drop the longstanding One China policy towards Taiwan. Now he speaks of the Chinese leader almost as a close chum. Question marks put over Washington’s commitment to its alliances with South Korea and Japan have been removed. As for the president’s hopes for a grand bargain with Mr Putin, they have fallen victim to the multiple investigations into the links between Moscow and Mr Trump’s campaign team. 


The foreign policy milestones of the first months of the administration are thus chalked up in the terms of successive reversals of positions taken by Mr Trump during his campaign. Surreal, certainly, but less dangerous than had the president persisted on his original course. Even on trade, where the going has been tougher for his advisers, Mr Trump has been deflected from launching a full-scale trade war with China or Mexico. 


Credit for the “normalisation” is allocated to James Mattis, the secretary for defence, HR McMaster, the national security adviser, and, to a lesser extent, Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state. As military men, Messrs Mattis and McMaster have imposed a measure of discipline and order on national security policy, though neither, I think, would call themselves grand strategists. Mr Tillerson, the former boss of Exxon, sometimes looks lost. Announcing a radical shake-up of the state department, he was then heard to ask a former business associate for ideas as to how he might go about it. 

to a lesser extent:それほどではないが
measure of discipline:規律の対策
looks lost:当惑したようだ

Some overseas leaders, particularly in the Middle East, prefer to do business with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law. Where others see multiple conflicts of interest these potentates are comfortable mixing business and foreign policy. They are used to politics as a family affair and to the blurring of lines between public policy and private gain. 


It is a measure of just how low expectations have sunk that diplomats in Washington shrug their shoulders at such shenanigans. Damage control scarcely adds up to a foreign policy for the world’s sole superpower — especially when the damage is being inflicted by the person who is supposed to be in control. 


Stories abound of the chaos in the White House — of a president at once convinced that he is right about everything and gripped by fears that he will be seen to fail. Aides walk in and out of favour, factions fight it out, official papers go unread and meetings rarely have agendas. And, most dangerously unpredictable, no one knows what Mr Trump will say, or tweet, next. In the memorable description of one close observer, advisers face a constant struggle against the “sheer depth of the president’s ignorance”. 

depth:全くの無知の深さ まったく知らないということ

Anything can be upended at any moment. Thus it was the president who drew the explicit link between his decision to sack James Comey and the FBI director’s investigations into the Trump campaign’s Russia connection. Mr McMaster sought to play down the presidential sharing of intelligence with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov about Islamist terrorist plots — only for Mr Trump to tweet he had nothing to apologise for. Now it seems that the president asked the then FBI director to go easy on Michael Flynn, the national security adviser sacked after revelations about his close connections to Moscow. 

play down:過小評価する・軽視する
go easy:寛大になる 

The sentiment most often heard by visitors to Washington, from Republicans and Democrats, is that things cannot go on like this. It is often followed by the prediction that for the foreseeable future they probably will. The reasoning is as cynical as they come. Much as they would like to be rid of Mr Trump, Congressional Republicans think they are safer politically backing the president than sacking him. If and when that calculus changes, the president will be gone. Until then, the US’s foreign policy, like this presidency, will be anything but normal. 




swingby_blog at 21:11コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



Whistleblower Snowden warns of looming mass surveillance in Japan
Today 06:53 am JST  Japan today


Edward Snowden, who exposed extensive U.S. surveillance programs in 2013, warned this week that Japan may be moving closer to sweeping surveillance of ordinary citizens as the government eyes a legal change to enhance police powers in the name of counterterrorism.


"This is the beginning of a new wave of mass surveillance in Japan," the 33-year-old American said in an exclusive interview with Kyodo News while in exile in Russia, referring to a so-called anti-conspiracy bill that has stirred controversy in and outside Japan as having the potential to undermine civil liberties.


The consequences could be even graver when combined with the use of a wide-reaching online data collection tool called XKEYSCORE, the former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency said. He also gave credence to the authenticity of new NSA papers exposed through The Intercept, a U.S. online media outlet, earlier this year that showed the agency's surveillance tool has already been shared with Japan.

authenticity :本物であること

The remarks by the intelligence expert are the latest warning over the Japanese government's push to pass the controversial bill through parliament, which criminalizes the planning and preparatory actions of 277 serious crimes.

In an open letter addressed to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in mid-May, a U.N. special rapporteur on the right to privacy stated that the bill could lead to undue restrictions of privacy and freedom of expression due to its potentially broad application -- a claim the Japanese government has strongly protested against.


Snowden said he agrees with the U.N.-appointed expert Joseph Cannataci, arguing the bill is "not well explained" and raises concerns that the government may have intentions other than its stated goal of cracking down on terrorism and organized crimes ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The anti-conspiracy law proposed by the government "focuses on terrorism and everything else that's not related to terrorism -- things like taking plants from the forestry reserve," he said. "And the only real understandable answer (to the government's desire to pass the bill)...is that this is a bill that authorizes the use of surveillance in new ways because now everyone can be a criminal."

Based on his experience of using XKEYSCORE himself, Snowden said authorities could become able to intercept everyone's communications, including people organizing political movements or protests, and put them "in a bucket."


The records would be simply "pulled out of the bucket" whenever necessary and the public would not be able to know whether such activities are done legally or secretly by the government because there are no sufficient legal safeguards in the bill, Snowden said.

Snowden finds the current situation in Japan reminiscent of what he went through in the United States following the terror attacks on Sept 11, 2001.


In passing the Patriot Act, which strengthened the U.S. government's investigative powers in the wake of the attacks, the government said similar things to what the Japanese government is saying now, such as "these powers are not going to be targeted against ordinary citizens" and "we're only interested in finding al-Qaida and terrorists," according to Snowden.

But within a few short years of the enactment of the Patriot Act, the U.S. government was using the law secretly to "collect the phone records of everyone in the United States, and everyone around the world who they could access" through the largest phone companies in the United States, Snowden said, referring to the revelations made in 2013 through top-secret documents he leaked.


Even though it sacrifices civil liberties, mass surveillance is not effective, Snowden said. The U.S. government's privacy watchdog concluded in its report in 2014 that the NSA's massive telephone records program showed "minimal value" in safeguarding the nation from terrorism and that it must be ended.

On Japan's anti-conspiracy bill, Snowden said it should include strong guarantees of human rights and privacy and ensure that those guarantees are "not enforced through the words of politicians but through the actions of courts."

"This means in advance of surveillance, in all cases the government should seek an individualized warrant, and individualized authorization that this surveillance is lawful and appropriate in relationship to the threat that's presented by the police," he said.

He also said allowing a government to get into the habit of collecting the communications of everyone through powerful surveillance tools could dangerously change the power relationship between the public and government to something closer to "subject and ruler" instead of partners, which is how it should be in a democracy.

subject and ruler:支配者と被支配者

Arguably, people in Japan may not make much of what Snowden sees as the rise of new untargeted and indiscriminate mass surveillance, thinking that they have nothing to hide or fear. But he insists that privacy is not about something to "hide" but about "protecting" an open and free society where people can be different and can have their own ideas.


Freedom of speech would not mean much if people do not have the space to figure out what they want to say, or share their views with others they trust, to develop them before introducing them into the context of the world, he said.

"When you say 'I don't care about privacy, because I've nothing to hide,' that's no different than saying you don't care about freedom of speech, because you've nothing to say," he added.

Snowden, who was dressed in a black suit, said toward the end of his more than 100-minute interview at a hotel in Moscow that living in exile is not "a lifestyle that anyone chooses voluntarily." He hopes to return home while continuing active exchanges online with people in various countries.

"The beautiful thing about today is that I can be in every corner of the world every night. I speak at U.S. universities every month. It's important to understand that I don't really live in Moscow. I live on the internet," he said.

Snowden showed no regrets over taking the risk of becoming a whistleblower and being painted by his home country as a "criminal" or "traitor," facing espionage charges at home for his historic document leak.

"It's scary as hell, but it's worth it. Because if we don't do it, if we see the truth of crimes or corruption in government, and we don't say something about it, we're not just making the world worse for our children, we're making the world worse for us, and we're making ourselves worse," he said.




swingby_blog at 21:33コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 

トランプとロシアの関係の徹底した調査。 FBI、選挙管理委員会、幾つかの議会の委員会が調査中である。

The many, many probes into Trump-Russia ties
The FBI, the election commission and several congressional committees have investigations ongoing
May 31st 2017by V.v.B. | CHICAGO 


ON MAY 17th Robert Mueller (pictured), a respected former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was appointed as special counsel by the Department of Justice to run the FBI’s investigation into whether Russia attempted to influence America’s presidential election in November, and whether it did so in co-ordination with members of Donald Trump’s campaign team. Four separate Senate and House committees are already investigating the same matter. But thanks to the FBI’s ample resources, Mr Mueller’s will be the main probe: he is empowered to press charges if he sees fit. Should the congressional committees be disbanded? 

sees fit:適切と思う

On the face of it, that might make sense: Mr Mueller is now the gatekeeper to much of the information gathered by the FBI. In the two weeks since his appointment, congressional leaders have started to realise that he will decide whether they get access to critical documents and witnesses. They are trying to persuade Mr Mueller to allow a public testimony and the release of documents from James Comey, who was abruptly sacked as boss of the FBI by Mr Trump on May 9th. Mr Comey has agreed to testify before the Senate intelligence committee, which oversees America’s spy agencies, but the committee must co-ordinate his appearance with Mr Mueller, who is still reviewing the committee’s request to see the memos. 

public testimony:一般市民の証言

Congressional leaders do not want their probes shut down; they regard their oversight as critical to ensuring the process is transparent and public. The findings of any probe are unlikely to be accepted by the public if all of the hearings are conducted in closed sessions and all work done behind closed doors, argues Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee. Jason Chaffetz, a Republican who is chair of the House oversight and government reform committee, points out that conducting investigations is the constitutional prerogative of Congress. 


Other bodies are getting involved as well: the Federal Election Commission, which is already looking into a complaint against Mr Trump and the Russian government, filed in December by two watchdogs, is also considering whether to investigate allegations that Russian agents paid for Facebook ads that spread damaging stories about Hillary Clinton. And the business dealings of Michael Flynn, who was forced out of his job as Mr Trump’s national security adviser because of his undisclosed contacts with Russia, are also under scrutiny. A grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, reportedly recently issued subpoenas for records related to Flynn Intel Group, Mr Flynn’s company. He is also being investigated for foreign payments he received, by the Pentagon’s top watchdog. 

grand jury:大陪審 23人以下の陪審員が告訴状予審を行い, 12人以上の賛成で起訴決定

The multitude of probes is confusing and might at times be counterproductive. But they may help to ensure nothing is missed. It is no bad thing to have Mr Mueller taking the lead. If anyone can convince a divided America that impartial probes are still possible, it may be Mr Mueller, who is held as a model of probity and was appointed by George W. Bush. And despite the flaws typical of Congressional probes—they tend to be shaped by partisan loyalties, and members of Congress are prone to posturing for the cameras—there is real value in Americans seeing the executive branch of government made to answer their elected representatives. In an era of alarmingly low trust in government, whatever these committees manage to uncover, they will have played an important role in restoring Americans’ confidence that their country adheres to the rule of law. 




swingby_blog at 06:17コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 
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