Just when people thought Trump was done shaking things up after a historic two weeks, he's going into the Christmas weekend after declaring a national emergency for the United States.
President Trump just signed a new Executive Order, then wrote a special letter to Congress detailing why he declared the national emergency.
The president writes:
I hereby report that I have issued the enclosed Executive Order (the “order”) declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States posed by serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world.
In the order itself, he outlines why he's issuing such an important order:
I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that the prevalence and severity of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, such as those committed or directed by persons listed in the Annex to this order, have reached such scope and gravity that they threaten the stability of international political and economic systems. Human rights abuse and corruption undermine the values that form an essential foundation of stable, secure, and functioning societies; have devastating impacts on individuals; weaken democratic institutions; degrade the rule of law; perpetuate violent conflicts; facilitate the activities of dangerous persons; and undermine economic markets. The United States seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences on those who commit serious human rights abuse or engage in corruption, as well as to protect the financial system of the United States from abuse by these same persons.
I therefore determine that serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.
President Trump is giving law enforcement, and any U.S. person who comes into contact with the property or interests of the individuals he lists in the Annex, to block and prevent the transfer of the property or interests:
I hereby determine and order:
Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:
His letter to Congress explains the order in a more simple manner:
The order blocks the property and interests in property of persons listed in the Annex to the order. It also blocks the property and interests in property of any foreign person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General:
The main two points being:
(1) to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse;
(2) to be a current or former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or indirectly engaged in:
(a) corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery; or
(b) the transfer or the facilitation of the transfer of the proceeds of corruption;
He then empowers the secretary of the Treasury to carry out and enforce the order:
I have delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury the authority, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to take such actions, including adopting rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA and the Act, as may be necessary to implement the order and relevant provisions of the Act. I have delegated to the Secretary of State the authority to take such actions, including adopting rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA and the Act, as may be necessary to implement the provisions of the order and the Act suspending entry into the United States of certain aliens. All executive departments and agencies are directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to implement the order.
The persons that he is directing the order against are:
1. Mukhtar Hamid Shah; Date of Birth (DOB) August 11, 1939; alt. DOB November 8, 1939; nationality, Pakistan
2. Angel Rondon Rijo; DOB July 16, 1950; nationality, Dominican Republic
3. Dan Gertler; DOB December 23, 1973; nationality, Israel; alt. nationality, Democratic Republic of the Congo
4. Maung Maung Soe; DOB March 1964; nationality, Burma
5. Yahya Jammeh; DOB May 25, 1965; nationality, The Gambia
6. Sergey Kusiuk; DOB December 1, 1966; nationality, Ukraine; alt. nationality, Russia
7. Benjamin Bol Mel; DOB January 3, 1978; alt. DOB December 24, 1978; nationality, South Sudan; alt. nationality, Sudan
8. Julio Antonio Juárez Ramírez; DOB December 1, 1980; nationality, Guatemala
9. Goulnora Islamovna Karimova; DOB July 8, 1972; nationality, Uzbekistan
10. Slobodan Tesic; DOB December 21, 1958; nationality, Serbia
11. Artem Yuryevich Chayka; DOB September 25, 1975; nationality, Russia
12. Gao Yan; DOB April 1963; nationality, China
13. Roberto Jose Rivas Reyes; DOB July 6, 1954; nationality, Nicaragua
President Trump really means business when it comes to protecting human rights and ending their abuses.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.