Pompeo Won’t Promise to Consult Congress Before Attacking Venezuela

Says anything Trump decides to do would be legal

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to comment on whether the administration would consult Congress before invading Venezuela, saying “I don’t want to speak to that.”

Pompeo shunned all questions about the role of Congress in a potential Venezuelan war, saying he is confident that President Trump has sufficient authority that whatever he decides will be legal.

This is a serious question constitutionally. Lawmakers note that the power to declare war lies exclusively with Congress. Fresh off of the veto of the Yemen War challenge, there is reason to question if the law matches up to the practical reality of US war-making anymore.

Pompeo would just insist that the US-imposed regime change in Venezuela is an inevitability, with or without the invasion. Though he has talked up the willingness to launch such an invasion, the administration seems to prefer to be vague about the specifics.

That’s likely because Congress may feel that, if war is imminent, they have a pressing need to pass legislation on the war, potentially complicating a unilateral attack. The administration reportedly has split on the matter of starting a war, though either way they seem securely on the side of Congress not being involved in that conversation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.