Senator Mike Lee seems to have finally hit a point where he will not tolerate the trump administration’s antics any longer. Today, he, along with the other 99 Senators were briefed on the legal, moral, and factual justification for the attack and assassination of Iranian General Soleimani. Lee, like other Senators who have been interviewed since the 75-minute briefing, found the administration’s briefing to be very unsatisfactory.
In fact, Lee called the briefing “the worst” he had ever experienced in his years, at least on a military matter.
What Lee was mostly was upset about was that the briefers tried to tell the senators that any debate about the administration being justified and/or having the authority to conduct further attacks against Iran to be emboldening to Iran. Essentially, Lee seemed to find even the suggestion that they remain silent and stand down to whatever the administration wants to be insulting — not personally, but as a senator.
Lee, at a press conference after the briefing, expressed his thoughts:
“What I found so distressing about that briefing was that one of the messages we received from the briefers was ‘do not debate, do not discuss the issue of the appropriateness of further military intervention against Iran. That if you do, you will be emboldening Iran. … I find this insulting and demeaning — not personally but to the office which each of the 100 Senators in this building happen to hold.”
Lee went on to say it was insulting to the Constitution and exactly the opposite of what the founders envisioned for America. What the administration seemed to be trying to do was have the Senators simply vacate their responsibilities and carrying out their responsibilities was somehow “anti-American.”
According to Lee, that should not be acceptable to any American.
With Senator Rand Paul at his side, Lee then went further said that he was quite sure that there were no misunderstandings here (he expected the administration to try to walk things back after they saw his, and possibly other GOP senator’s outrage) and then he went even further.
The Senator then said that the briefing was so bad that he would now support Democratic Senator, Tim Kaine’s resolution to limit Trump’s ability to unilaterally attack Iran — a resolution he would have voted against before the briefing.
Other Senators have called the briefing “patronizing” and further echoed Lee’s sentiments.
Check out the video below and see what it looks like when Trump has finally gone too far — even for a loyal Republican Senator:
Tim Kaine issued a statement on what his resolution is about and why it is necessary:
“For years, I’ve been deeply concerned about President Trump stumbling into a war with Iran. We’re now at a boiling point, and Congress must step in before Trump puts even more of our troops in harm’s way. We owe it to our service members to have a debate and vote about whether or not it’s in our national interest to engage in another unnecessary war in the Middle East,” Kaine said.
War powers resolutions are privileged, meaning that the Senate will be forced to vote on the legislation. The resolution underscores that Congress has the sole power to declare war, as laid out in the Constitution. The resolution requires that any hostilities with Iran must be explicitly authorized by a declaration of war or specific authorization for use of military force, but does not prevent the United States from defending itself from imminent attack. The resolution will force a public debate and vote in Congress as intended by the framers of the Constitution to determine whether United States forces should be engaged in these hostilities.
Featured image via screen capture from youtube.com