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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Democrats should not be raising concerns after Donald Trump ordered an attack that killed a top Iranian general.

McConnell left out the fact that Democratic leaders were not given a customary briefing on the attack on Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani before the operation was carried out — with Trump suggesting on Twitter that he didn’t brief Democrats because he does not trust them.

“Although I anticipate and welcome a debate about America’s interest in foreign policy in the Middle East, I recommend that all senators wait to review the facts and hear from the administration before passing much public judgement on this operation and its potential consequences,” McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — both of whom would customarily be briefed on imminent military attacks as part of what’s known as the “Gang of 8” on Capitol Hill — both said they were not given advance notice on the attack or strategy behind it.

“The Trump Admin has conducted strikes in Iraq targeting high-level Iranian military officials and killing Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani without an AUMF against Iran,” Pelosi tweeted, referring to an Authorization for Use of Military Force, which enables a president to conduct an attack. “Further, this action was taken without the consultation of the Congress.”

In response to Democrats’ frustration over not being briefed, Trump retweeted a comment from conservative provocateur and conspiracy theorist Dinesh D’Souza.

Following Schumer’s assertion on Twitter that he was not briefed prior to the attack, D’Souza had replied, “Neither were the Iranians, and for pretty much the same reason” — suggesting Democrats are as untrustworthy as an American adversary.

Ultimately, Democrats are concerned that Trump authorized an attack on Soleimani without consideration of a possible escalation of violence, drawing the United States into yet another protracted conflict in the Middle East. 

And Democrats want Trump to ask Congress for permission to go to war with Iran, following the Constitutional provision that says Congress declares war, not a president unilaterally.

“The president does not have the authority for a war with Iran,” Schumer said on the Senate floor on Friday. “If he plans a large increase in troops and potential hostility over a longer time, the administration will require congressional approval— and the approval of the American people.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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The baseless claim that the FBI may have planted evidence while carrying out a court-approved search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on Monday has surged through right-wing media, as the former president’s allies continue their effort to turn their audiences against the probe and shield Trump from accountability.

The FBI searched the premises after obtaining a warrant from a federal magistrate judge and “removed a number of boxes of documents” as part of a federal investigation into whether Trump had illegally “taken a trove of material with him to his home at Mar-a-Lago when he left the White House that included sensitive documents – and then, in the Justice Department’s view, had failed to fully comply with requests that he return the disputed material,” the New York Times reported. Politico concluded after consulting with legal experts on the handling of classified documents that “it’s highly unlikely the DOJ would have pursued – and a judge would have granted – such a politically explosive search warrant without extraordinary evidence.”

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