Democrats are upset that President Trump didn’t notify Congress about the attack against Iranian General Qasem Soleimani beforehand, but former President Obama did the same thing during the Bin Laden raid in 2011.
According to The Hill:
While many Republican lawmakers put out statements praising the strikes, Democrats criticized the action for lacking congressional authority and further destabilizing the region.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spoke to Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Thursday night to get an explanation of the military strike after she received no advance notification from the administration.
Pelosi also released a statement saying the strike was not authorized and Congress was not consulted on the decision.
Interestingly, in 2015 the New York Times reported that only a handful of lawmakers knew about the bin Laden beforehand because they were leaked information from the CIA:
“[CIA Counsel] Preston wrote a memo addressing when the administration had to alert congressional leaders under a statute governing covert actions. Given the circumstances, the lawyers decided that the administration would be legally justified in delaying notification until after the raid. But then they learned that the C.I.A. director, Leon E. Panetta, had already briefed several top lawmakers about Abbottabad without White House permission.”
Additionally, CNN also stated in 2019 that “before the Osama bin Laden raid, key members of Congress knew about surveillance of the al Qaeda leader and knew something might be coming, but did not know specific details as the raid was happening,” which corresponds to the New York Times reporting.
Furthermore, in 2011 the Washington Post also stated:
“Obama called Bush and former president Bill Clinton, as well as senior congressional leaders, before announcing bin Laden’s death to the nation.”
This indicates that Congress overall wasn’t informed about the bin Laden raid before it happened.
It would certainly seem that the anger against President Trump for not notifying Congress before the Soleimani attack stems from political posturing moreso than an actual legal grievance, given that this legal question over congressional notification was raised – and left unanswered – in 2011.
Here’s a breakdown of Trump’s surgical strike that took out Iran’s Quds Force General Qassem Soleimani – and what it means for the future of America and the Middle East.
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