The justification, submitted by the Trump administration to Congress, invokes the power of President Donald Trump to defend the United States under section 2 of the Constitution, although he makes no reference to specific threats.
The administration also highlighted the authorization granted in 2002 before the invasion of Iraq that overthrew Saddam Hussein's regime, which he said "could face threats from militias, terrorist groups or other armed groups in Iraq could put pressure on the United States. ”
"The air strike against Soleimani in Iraq is consistent with this long-standing interpretation of the president's authority under Article II and the 2002 AUMF," the administration said.
"Iran's past and recent activities, coupled with intelligence at the time of the air strike, indicated that the Iranian Quds Force posed a threat to the United States in Iraq, and the air strike against Soleimani was aimed at protecting the American personnel and to dissuade future Iranians from plans to attack American forces and interest in Iraq and threats emanating from Iraq, "he said.
Democrats in Congress, and even some Republicans, have complained that senior administration officials either did not adequately describe the imminent threat that justified the provocative decision to kill Soleimani or show adequate legal justification.
"This false explanation after the fact will not be enough," said Engel of the report.
After weeks of feuds with House Democrats, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to testify at a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on February 28 on Iranian and Iraqi politics, which the president says will cover " the Soleimani strike and the powers of war ”.
Lawmakers in both chambers rebuked Trump and sought to limit his war powers following the murder of Soleimani and an Iranian reprisal missile attack on bases in Iraq housing American troops.
The Senate on Thursday passed a resolution calling for an end to hostilities against Iran without congressional authorization. In addition to adopting a resolution on war powers, the House recently voted to cut funding to the offensive military operations against Iran and to repeal the AUMF from the war in Iraq in 2002.