Lawmakers Question Trump's Legal Authority for Military Action in Iran

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President Donald Trump is facing some bipartisan skepticism about what legal authority his administration could use for a military strike against Iran, The Hill reports.

Critics claim Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others have been setting the stage to apply the 2001 war authorization to launch military action against Tehran, according to The Hill. They claim Pompeo and the others have brought up connections between al Qaeda and Iran.

But Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said “there are no credible links” between al Qaeda and Iran

“I think every president tries to make the case that Congress can’t tell them what to do on foreign policy or war,” he said. “They’re wrong. … I will oppose any president, Republican or Democrat, who thinks they can go to war without congressional approval.”

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., also dismissed any suggestion of a link between the terrorist group and Iran.

“It’s pretty clear from arguments they (administration officials) have been making … that they do not want to come to Congress, so they want to figure out what they can do without coming to Congress, so they’ve sort of advanced what I would consider a real bizarre stretch of an argument about the 2001 authorization,” Kaine said.

Paul, Kaine, and others sent a letter to Trump expressing their concerns, saying, “Congress has not authorized war with Iran and no current statutory authority allows the U.S. to conduct hostilities against the government of Iran.”

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a U.S. drone Thursday as tensions grew between Tehran and Washington.


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