White House Gives Lawmakers Formal Notice of Iraq Strike Amid Complaints From Democrats

The White House sent to Congress on Saturday formal notification of Friday’s U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general, amid complaints from Democrats that President Donald Trump did not notify lawmakers or seek advance approval for the attack.

The U.S. strike that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq has caused a dramatic rise in tensions between Iran and the United States and its allies.

The classified notification was sent under a 1973 U.S. law called the War Powers Act, which requires the administration to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action or imminent actions.

White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien confirmed the notice had been sent and told Fox News on Saturday there were numerous legal grounds for the attack. He said Justice Department lawyers had signed off on the plan.

“This was an absolute legal operation,” O’Brien said. “We feel very good about the legal basis for this military operation.”

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said it raised more questions than it answered.

“This document prompts serious and urgent questions about the timing, manner and justification of the Administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran,” Pelosi said in a statement.

She said the “highly unusual” decision to classify the entire document compounded her concerns and “suggests that the Congress and the American people are being left in the dark about our national security.”

A senior Democratic aide described the notification as “brief and insufficient.”

In the notification, Trump’s administration was expected to have explained the circumstances, the authority under which the action was taken and the expected scope and duration of the military involvement. The White House declined to comment.

Senator Bernie Sanders, a contender for the Democratic nomination to run against Trump in November’s presidential election, said on Saturday that Congress must take immediate steps to restrain the president “from plunging our nation into yet another endless war.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren, another Democratic presidential candidate, told reporters on Saturday that Trump has taken the United States “to the brink of war” and called his actions “reckless. He evidently has no plan.”

Pelosi has said the strike in Baghdad was conducted without specific authorization from Congress and “without the consultation of the Congress.”

On Saturday she described the administration’s military engagement as “provocative, escalatory and disproportionate” and said it put U.S. citizens, troops and their allies in danger.

The Pentagon on Friday briefed staff members from the House Armed Services Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee on the attack.

On Friday, Democratic U.S. Senator Tim Kaine introduced a resolution to force a debate and vote in Congress to prevent further escalation of hostilities with Iran.

Republicans in Congress have generally backed Trump’s action. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Friday that “no man alive was more directly responsible for the deaths of more American service members than Qassem Soleimani.”

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Will Dunham, Daniel Wallis and Paul Simao)


  1. “The fake Indian squaw is a Socialist” Confused James

    No, she is not a socialist.

    You are like that kid in “Kindergarten Cop”. Everything is a “toomah”. To you, everyone you don’t like is a socialist. Grow up.

  2. Saw Warren on the Telly today. She. Is clearly the enemy of America — a traitor.

    1. The fake Indian squaw is a Socialist and another anti-American loser. She could easily pass for radical Hillary’s lower-IQ sister (not that Hillary was the sharpest knife in the drawer).

  3. They are given proof it was legal and approved before he committed the act, and it’s still too brief or “concerning’ to Nancy the fossil Pelosi. I guess we should have waited until they killed a few hundred more soldiers or possibly civilians before we took action eh?

  4. James, the gang of 8 does not include Omar or Tlaib.

  5. Warren, Pelosi, and Bernie do not have the guts to do what Trump does. They are nosey, controlling people who want to be superior to everyone. They are so green with envy, because they are too busy with trivia to be capable of doing anything substantial and monumental as Trump has done. Their motto is, “ Criticize and demean anyone smarter or better than Dems.”

  6. And exactly what would the Democrats do if briefed by Trump on a upcoming operation? Why protest and object of course, then leak it, because that is what they do to everything he does. President Trump is Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces and has the prerogative of ordering the military to respond, NOT Congress, a body so dysfunctional all they do is focus on impeachment. Of course Democrats will condemn whatever Trump does and he did NOT bring us to the brink of war. He responded in kind to what the Iranians have long been doing to us, directly, and they using their proxies, like Hezbollah. By Trump’s action he served notice to the Mullahs that America will no longer tolerate the BS Iran has been serving up to our country and the world, their terrorist acts, attacks on ships, the oil fields of our allies and anything else. But, Democrats are appeasers and Obama was a master at it. Remember the planeload of cash he gave to Iran in secrecy, no congressional notification prior to, to get Iran to stop or modify their nuclear ambitions. It didn’t work. Where was the hue and cry then about not notifying Congress? Exactly what do Democrats want us to do when our interests and those of our allies are attacked by Iran? Send more money? Mullahs understand violence because they deal in it world-wide. Trump sent a strong message and I think they got it. But let’s see if their terrorist activities abate of continue again America and its interests.

    1. On WHAT are you basing your assertion of leaking? When did the Iraqi armed forces take out a U.S. general?

      1. He’s Iran’s not military leader not Iraq can you at least know wtf you’re talking about Phyllis. I know that’s asking a lot but damn you’re biased. Also his forces have been linked to hundreds of US soldiers deaths he personally ordered the torture and execution of hundreds of American POWs. There’s just the tip of the iceberg on this pile of shit who deserves to have been killed in much worse manners.

  7. Pelosi, Warren and Sanders all had something negative to say, of course. Just 3 dinosaurs who hate President Trump more than they care about our military and this country. Since when does the President need approval from Pelosi’s Congress, the leak like a sieve group of haters.

  8. Sorry Nancy but the days of mass leafleting prior to an armed response is no longer an option. Those days are gone along with Obama.

    1. So you remember the stupidity of our actions in Vietnam/Hanoi. So do I. It made no sense to tell them we were going to bomb the place two days before we did it.

  9. Telling D-RATs in advance would guarantee a leak to Fake news and a warning to muslim extremists.
    Good job Trump!

    1. Exactly: No question Omar, Tlaib and possibly AOC would have been on the phone to their connections in Hamas or to Barry’s “brothers” in the Muslim Brotherhood.

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