I said this when US Sec of State Pompeo came out with the news that President Trump was dropping out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty late last year….
Last I looked?
The US Congress had the last word on Treaties between countries like it says in the US Constitution …..
Donald Trump will probably need an ok from Congress to drop out the Russian/US agreement …..
(He doesn’t probably need that ok if he keeps the agreement, but suspends the US from it temporarily as he has indicated he’s doing for 6 months)
No one really knows who gets to cancel treaties, but courts may defer to a Congress that prefers not to.
Since announcing its intent to leave the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty late last year, the Trump administration has tried to portray this move as the inevitable result of Russian malfeasance. U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman has described it as “a forced decision” necessitated by Russia’s insistence on “producing, flight-testing, and fielding exactly the type of [intermediate-range] missile that the INF Treaty prohibits.” “If the INF Treaty dies,” U.S. Ambassador to NATOKay Bailey Hutchison has similarly argued, “blame Russia…A treaty cannot exist when one side complies and the other does not.”
Russia’s violations of the INF Treaty are real and should be of serious concern. But this narrative obscures the exceptional nature of the response that the Trump administration is pursuing by not only suspending U.S. compliance with the INF Treaty but leaving it altogether. And this framing ignores the fact that President Trump is planning to take this latter step in spite of opposed legislation that Congress has enacted over the past several years—something that may well make his actions vulnerable to constitutional challenge….
One can debate the merits of this approach on policy grounds. As a legal matter, however, it faces a major problem: Congress does not appear to be on board.
Since 2014, Congress has repeatedly enacted legislationexpressing concern over Russia’s INF Treaty violations and calling for efforts to pressure Russia back into compliance. At times, this legislation has even included mandatory directives and requirements intended to advance this objective. Moreover, since 2017, Congress has explicitly endorsed the view that Russia’s material breach warrants suspension, leaving little doubt that it supports this step.
But this is not true of withdrawal. In all this relevant legislation, Congress has only mentioned withdrawal once and never endorsed it. To the contrary, many of the measures that Congress has put forward or endorsed that are aimed at restoring Russian compliance would be rendered moot if the INF Treaty were terminated. While it never says so explicitly, the clear implication is that Congress opposes withdrawal—a point brought home by the 2017 legislation, which lawmakers entitled the “Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty Preservation Act.”
Why does this matter? Because it is unclear who precisely has the legal authority to withdraw the United States from treaties. Like other recent presidents, Trump has claimed the authority to do so on his own without consulting Congress. But no president has ever taken this step in the face of contrary legislation….
Donald Trump has shown that he has NO problem with breaking or bending the rules as President….
But in light of his current “border National Emergency’ move to try get around Congress?
And the US Senate countering him on several Foreign Affairs actions?
He might NOT get his way on this……
(Nobody is saying the Russians are the ‘good guys ‘on this)