GOP Sen. Mike Lee: Trump Officials Told Senators Not to Debate War Authorization

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After the Trump Administration’s 75-minute briefing to the US Senate on the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) was deeply critical, calling it the worst briefing he’d gotten in his nine years in the Senate.

Saying the administration’s briefers offered little on the legal or practical justification for the attack, Sen. Lee particularly took umbrage at them warning the Senators that they must not debate the War Powers authorization for a war with Iran.

Those giving the briefing objected to the very idea of the Senate discussing the matter publicly, saying it would “embolden Iran.” Sen. Lee noted that this is a power Constitutionally reserved explicitly for the legislature.

Not only did Lee express annoyance that there was no pushback from any of the briefers on telling the Senate not to debate something legally in their purview, but he said that while he’d had problems with the language of Sen. Tim Kaine’s (D-VA) resolution, he has now decided that he will support the resolution, on condition of some amendments.


Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of