Schiff calls for open hearings on Trump’s Iran actions
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said he supports open House hearings regarding President Trump’s order last week for a strike that killed top Iranian commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Schiff, who is among lawmakers who were briefed a day after last week’s attack, told The Washington Post there should be open hearings on the administration’s decision to strike.
“The president has put us on a path where we may be at war with Iran. That requires the Congress to fully engage,” Schiff told the Post in an interview published Monday.
Schiff said there’s “absolutely no way” Trump’s threat to retaliate with “disproportionate” attacks, should Iran strike the U.S., reflects Pentagon planning.
“None of that could come out of the Pentagon,” Schiff said.
A Pentagon spokesperson was not immediately available for comment when contacted by The Hill.
Trump said there are 52 Iranian sites, including cultural sites, that “will be hit very fast and very hard” if Iran strikes an American or an American base. He later said that his “Media Posts,” seemingly referring to his tweets, will serve to notify members of Congress on potential strikes.
Schiff has also questioned whether there is intelligence that supports the claim that killing Soleimani would prevent future attacks against the U.S.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that killing Soleimani saved American lives, adding that the Iranian general was plotting attacks against the U.S.
“I’m certainly not satisfied that the intelligence supports the conclusion that the killing of Soleimani was going to either prevent attacks on the United States or reduce the risk to American lives,” Schiff told the Post.
“I don’t think the intelligence was of the kind of character that would lead to a uniform recommendation that Soleimani should be killed,” Schiff added. “I think that was an impulsive judgment made by the president.”
Similarly, Schiff told CNN’s Jake Tapper in a Sunday appearance on “State of the Union” that Pompeo’s comments reflect “a personal opinion, not an intelligence conclusion.”
Schiff also told the newspaper he supports Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) call for a vote on a resolution that would limit Trump’s military actions toward Iran.
Pelosi told Democratic members in a letter Sunday that the House will introduce a vote on a “War Powers Resolution” led by Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), a former CIA and Department of Defense analyst specializing in Shia militias.
In the Senate, Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.), the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, asked Trump in a letter Sunday to “immediately declassify” the Jan. 4 war powers notification submitted to Congress following the operation that killed Soleimani.