Suspicion of power is needed

It is unfortunate in a way that even Republicans in Congress sometimes refuse to go along with President Donald Trump’s initiatives. But after eight years of former chief executive Barack Obama’s imperial presidency, one can hardly blame lawmakers for being on their guard.

Another example of Obama’s disregard for both the statute books and the Constitution has come to light. Ironically, it appears the very institution he so often criticized, banking, prevented him from doing lasting harm.

According to a report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Obama was not content with handing billions of dollars over to Iran as a result of the now-nullified 2015 agreement with them regarding nuclear weapons.

Iranian leaders had sought to convert $5.7 billion they had in a bank in Oman into euros. To do that, they needed to convert Omani currency into dollars first. U.S. laws in place after the 2015 agreement prohibited that.

But Obama, while denying he was doing so, sought to help. He had U.S. licenses approved for the transaction, in violation of the law.

Fortunately, the White House was unable to find any U.S. banks willing to facilitate the transaction. They were not willing to break the law, even if Obama was.

No wonder, then, that so many lawmakers have become suspicious of presidential power.