The Trump administration has released a new report offering its justification for killing Iranian military leader Qassem Suleimani — and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) is not happy about it.
For weeks, the Trump administration insisted that it had intelligence showing that Suleimani posed an imminent threat to American interests. According to Engel, however, the administration’s report makes no mention of any such threat.
“The administration’s explanation in this report makes no mention of any imminent threat and shows that the justification the President offered to the American people was false, plain and simple,” he said, according to Politico. “To make matters worse, to avoid having to justify its actions to Congress, the administration falsely claims Congress had already authorized the strike under the 2002 Iraq war resolution. This legal theory is absurd.”
The administration’s report claims that “Iran’s Qods Force posed a threat to the United States in Iraq, and the air strike against Suleimani was intended to protect United States personnel and deter future Iranian attack plans against United States forces.” Despite earlier rhetoric about an imminent threat, however, no such danger was detailed in its official explanation.
The Senate this week passed a bipartisan resolution that would restrict Trump from launching a war with Iran without first getting congressional approval. The president is widely expected to veto it, however, and there are not enough votes in the Senate at the moment to override it.