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Allen makes support for Trump clear
Has called for consequences over Clintons emails
W Allen at Kiwanis
U.S. Rep. Rick Allen speaks to the Statesboro Kiwanis Club at its Thursday lunch meeting. - photo by AL HACKLE/Staff

Speaking to the Statesboro Kiwanis Club, Congressman Rick Allen, R-Georgia 12th District, noted that he has called for consequences for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, over her handling of emails while secretary of state. In an interview afterward, Allen made clear that he supports his party’s nominee, Donald Trump, for president.

Allen had attended the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, last week. In his remarks Thursday, he praised Cleveland and its facilities and noted that it was the first party convention he had attended. Then he referred to events earlier this month, when FBI Director James Comey reported the bureau’s findings that, although Clinton was “extremely careless” in her handling of State Department emails, there were insufficient grounds to charge her with any crime.

“I was convinced that he was fixing to hand out the indictment, and then all of a sudden, ‘Well, we don’t feel like it’s justified,’ and I think everybody was kind of in shock,” Allen said. “But from her personal email account server housed in her basement, it is clear why Director Comey called Clinton and her aides extremely careless. What’s not so clear, however, is despite her list of grievances, Comey’s recommendation that charges not be brought against her.”

Within 48 hours after the press conference, Comey testified before the House Oversight Committee for almost five hours, Allen noted.

“And he did verify that she did have classified emails on that server,” Allen said. “I have joined on two letters with my colleagues, one to Attorney General Loretta Lynch requesting a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate Hillary Clinton, and also to look at the everything the FBI has done as far as their investigation of this matter.”

When Lynch testified before the House Judiciary Committee, “unsurprisingly, she refused to answer most of the basic questions concerning the decision not to charge Clinton,” Allen said.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, then called on Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to deny Clinton access to classified information while a presidential nominee. The parties’ nominees usually receive classified national security briefings.

When Clapper declined to block Clinton’s access, some Congressional Republicans announced they would introduce legislation to do so, an idea Allen said he “supported 100 percent.”

“Congress shares your frustration,” Allen told the club audience. “What I want to know is the truth, that’s all we want to know, and we also want to know that the law is equally applied.

“Now for the director to say that there has been no other case like this is not true,” he continued. “There have been many cases like this, and I can assure you that we will fight in the House of Representatives to ensure that proper justice is served, because no one is above the law, not even Hillary Clinton.”

 

‘Yes, absolutely’

During his remarks to the club, Allen did not refer to Trump by name when he said things such as, “I promise if we have a president that will work with us that, no matter what happens …  we’re going to address this deficit.”

But in case anyone would think that he merely opposes Clinton, the Statesboro Herald asked him after the meeting whether he supports Trump. “Yes, absolutely,” Allen said.

Another question was whether he has concerns about Trump’s lack of experience in things such as international affairs.

“No, because he’s going to surround himself with the best and brightest,” Allen said. “We have a real, real deep bench. I mean, you take Newt Gingrich. Newt knows as much about international affairs as anybody in Washington, D.C., and Newt will be a big player. I’m not saying he’s going to be secretary of state, but he would certainly be my choice as secretary of state.”

Gingrich represented Georgia’s 6th District in Congress for 20 years and was speaker of the House from January 1995 until January 1998.

 

Fighting ‘overreach’

Speaking to the Kiwanis, Allen also referred to battling current President Barack Obama’s administration and regulatory agencies that Allen calls “the fourth branch of government.” The Environmental Protection Agency is one example.

He recently voted for legislation called the Separation of Powers Restoration Act, which Allen said would “scale back the power of the administration’s regulatory agencies and return the interpretation of laws to the courts where it should be.”

This bill passed the House on July 12. All but one of the 239 “yes” votes were from Republicans, and all 171 “no” votes were by Democrats, as seen on the House  clerk’s website. The Senate has not acted on it.

 “Right now,” Allen said, “that is our best pursuit of this overreach.”

He also backed a bill called the REINS Act, aimed at “reining in regulatory agencies.” The initials stand for Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny. The bill would require that any regulation with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more be passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by the president, instead  of being created through agency rulemaking procedures.

The REINS bill was passed by the House 243-165 a year ago, with only two Democrats supporting it. The Senate has not acted on it.

Also referring to Obama’s “executive amnesty” for some illegal immigrants as an overreach, Allen noted that the U.S. Supreme Court let a ruling stand that found the executive action on immigration unconstitutional. Obama’s plan would have, by his executive order, prevented several million undocumented immigrants from potentially being deported.

The ruling in June was actually a 4-4 tie of the Supreme Court, which is lacking its ninth member. After Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February, the Republican-controlled Senate declined to act on confirmation of Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to be the new justice and is awaiting the election of the next president.

Whenever the high court ties, the previous ruling by a lower court stands.

“We were happy that we were able to return that authority to the United States Congress,” Allen said. “The Congress makes the laws.”

Allen also stated his opposition to the Obama administration’s summer 2015 deal with Iran, which resulted in the lifting of sanctions in return for Iran’s steps to dismantle its nuclear arms development program.

 “Iran’s various human rights abuses, coupled with their state-sponsorship of terrorism and continued testing of ballistic missiles and violations of the agreement show that they clearly are not to be trusted,” Allen said. “Now, our own secretary of state said, ‘You can’t trust these people,’ and then how do you have an agreement with people you can’t trust.”

Herald reporter Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.

 

 

 

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