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Dem senators tell Trump he doesn’t have ‘legal authority’ to launch preemptive strike on North Korea

Dem senators tell Trump he doesn’t have ‘legal authority’ to launch preemptive strike on North Korea
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More than a dozen Democratic senators argued in a letter to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing MORE on Monday that he doesn’t have the authority to order a preemptive strike on North Korea.

“Like many, we are deeply concerned about the potential consequences of a preemptive military strike on North Korea and the risks of miscalculation and retaliation,” the senators wrote.

“Without congressional authority, a preventative or preemptive U.S. military strike would lack either a constitutional basis or legal authority,” they added. 

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, organized the letter. It was signed by 17 other Democrats and independents, including Sens. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Dem senator: Trump accepts Saudi denials because he is 'enamored' with dictators Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP MORE (D-Md.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: Trump says 'rogue killers' could be behind missing journalist | Sends Pompeo to meet Saudi king | Saudis may claim Khashoggi killed by accident | Ex-VA chief talks White House 'chaos' | Most F-35s cleared for flight Democrats torch Trump for floating 'rogue killers' to blame for missing journalist Election Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms MORE (D-Va.), Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersBiden: Trump administration 'coddles autocrats and dictators' Warren and Sanders question Amazon CEO over Whole Foods anti-union video Dem lawmaker to Saudis: Take your oil and shove it MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisElection Countdown: O'Rourke goes on the attack | Takeaways from fiery second Texas Senate debate | Heitkamp apologizes for ad misidentifying abuse victims | Trump Jr. to rally for Manchin challenger | Rick Scott leaves trail to deal with hurricane damage Biden: ‘Totally legitimate’ to question age if he runs in 2020 Fox contributor: Warren's ancestors 'rounded up Cherokees for the Trail of Tears' MORE (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren and Sanders question Amazon CEO over Whole Foods anti-union video Senate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel MORE (D-Mass.).

The Washington Post first reported the letter. 

The senators also expressed concerns over reports that Victor Cha would no longer be considered for the U.S. ambassador to South Korea after he objected to the possibility of a preemptive strike against North Korea.

The Trump administration is said to be considering options for a potential targeted military strike against North Korea, or a “bloody nose” strategy, which would be used to show Pyongyang the consequences of an all-out war.