In an Op-Ed for Fox News Gregg Jarrett defends the U.S. airstrike ordered by President Trump that has been highly criticized by Trump’s political opponents.
Saturday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has issued a statement on what she refers to as “hostilities against Iran.”
In the statement, Pelosi demands a “immediate, comprehensive briefing” fearing “Congress and the American people are being left in the dark about our national security.”
In his Op-Ed for Fox News, Jarrett writes:
President Trump ordered an airstrike that killed the notorious Iranian terrorist, Qassem Soleimani, who murdered hundreds of Americans. The President was constitutionally empowered to do so.
Democrats, of course, reflexively whined that Trump abused his powers. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s predictable, Pavlovian response was to complain that the president acted without authorization from Congress. He did, indeed, because he needs no such authorization.
Article II of the Constitution vests “executive power” in the president of the United States. As commander in chief of our armed forces, the president is granted broad and substantive authority to deploy military forces overseas to ensure U.S. national security and protect American lives. This is implicit within the vesting clause of the Constitution.
On the president’s orders and without congressional permission, our military can engage hostile forces for these purposes. Exigent circumstances often demand immediate action. The delay caused by protracted congressional approval is both unworkable and dangerous.
Express consent from Congress is required only “to declare war.” This is derived from Article I of the Constitution – which, unlike presidential powers, confines legislative powers to those “herein granted.” It serves as the basic framework that has enabled all past presidents to act unilaterally and swiftly when serious threats arise, but where a formal declaration of war is not merited.
Trump’s action was entirely consistent with decisions made by his predecessors. Presidents have a fundamental duty to act quickly in the face of foreign aggression that jeopardizes both lives and U.S. national security interests.
Until his hand was forced, Trump showed remarkable restraint. He did not retaliate with military action months ago when Iran shot down a U.S. drone or attacked oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman or fired rockets into an installation housing American military personnel. One can argue that his forbearance only emboldened Iran’s belligerence.
The equation changed when Soleimani directed his terrorist militias to lay siege to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, threatening American lives. This was preceded by a militia attack on a military base that wounded U.S. troops and killed an American contractor – again, orchestrated by the terror leader.
Soleimani, who was there in Baghdad commanding these terror operations, was poised to murder more.
According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump’s decision to take out the terror leader disrupted another “imminent attack” and “saved American lives.”
Read more here.