President Donald Trump issued a bizarre threat against Iran — triggering confusion and alarm.
Congress curtailed the president’s war powers in February after he escalated tensions the month before with Iran, which like the United States is now grappling with the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump reignited tensions with a tweet Wednesday warning that “Iran or its proxies” were planning a “sneak attack” on U.S. troops or assets in Iraq, which Teheran had done in January in response to the drone strike killing of general Qasem Soleimani.
Upon information and belief, Iran or its proxies are planning a sneak attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq. If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 1, 2020
Other social media users were perplexed by the threat, which appeared to use language from confidential briefings — like the intelligence briefing Trump had scheduled about an hour before his tweet was posted.
"Upon information & belief" – This is language used in affidavits that accompany warrants or confidential submissions. Is the President repeating confidential information from US intelligence resources on Twitter? https://t.co/BDS86BozGW
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) April 1, 2020
Well, there is this, so…yes… pic.twitter.com/434dKPficg
— presidentdummy (@PresidentDummy) April 1, 2020
As an early legal mentor told me, just read "Upon information and belief" as "You can't hold me to it, but…" That seems especially apropos here.
— ReasonableMindDiffering (@RDiffering) April 1, 2020
Weird choice of phrasing. "Upon information and belief" is usually reserved for civil lawsuits where the evidence is second-hand or aspirational. https://t.co/dNpZGjEnD6
— Mike McIntire (@mmcintire) April 1, 2020
"Upon information and belief"? Since when did Trump tweets read like affidavits? https://t.co/4XhroHU6cO
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) April 1, 2020
For everyone asking, "upon information and belief" is legalese often included court filings and affidavits to qualify purported statements of fact that the speaker has no firsthand knowledge about, but believes to be true.
— Jen (@ellewoodsgolfs) April 1, 2020
(UPON INFORMATION AND BELIEF! )
He's lying again 🤥
There's no information & his beliefs no one believes in. Another big lie for an unjust attack!
— Kingmoj (@Kingmoj3) April 1, 2020
If this WERE true (what the fuck is "upon information and belief"?) telling them you know about it would be pretty fucking stupid, assfuck.
— Randi Mayem Singer (@rmayemsinger) April 1, 2020
For non-practitioners "upon information and belief" is something lawyers preface an allegation with if they have no actual basis for the allegation. https://t.co/g3hUwIDYkQ
— Tim DeLaney (@ETimDeLaney) April 1, 2020
1) WTF does “upon information and belief” mean?
2) A “sneak attack” as opposed to what, one they scheduled with you? It’s just called an attack, you moron.
3) Why are you telling us this? https://t.co/PSh4h2HW0J
— Fat Bastardson (@Captain__Google) April 1, 2020
U.S. Presidents should not act upon "information and belief".
— davidcavanaughcook (@davidca87712202) April 1, 2020
Lmbo upon information and belief? Someone's been hanging out with shitty lawyers. https://t.co/BYffg6iRBo
— Randbrick (@HitherToFore) April 1, 2020
Upon information and belief? Wow just what we want more bullshit from a guy who lies and backtracks everytime he opens his mouth. pic.twitter.com/tGgej7Gk99
— Shufixer ⛏️👞🎳 (@shufixer) April 1, 2020