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
© Getty Images

More than a dozen Democratic senators argued in a letter to President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report 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 CardinOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Senate Dem: Trump 'using immigrants as pawns' Bottom Line MORE (D-Md.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Democratic proposals to overhaul health care: A 2020 primer Dems ask Justice Dept to release findings of Acosta-Epstein investigation MORE (D-Va.), Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersOvernight Health Care: DOJ charges doctors over illegal opioid prescriptions | Cummings accuses GOP of obstructing drug pricing probe | Sanders courts Republican voters with 'Medicare for All' | Dems probe funding of anti-abortion group Ex-Obama campaign manager: Sanders can't beat Trump Booker calls for sweeping voting rights reforms MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisEx-Obama campaign manager: Sanders can't beat Trump Pollster says Trump's approval rating in 2020 will be impacted by Dem nominee 20 Dems demand no more money for ICE agents, Trump wall MORE (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOvernight Defense: Reports detail effect of transgender military ban | Watchdog auditing 8 billion submarine program | Warren questions top general on climate change Booker calls for sweeping voting rights reforms Warren praises Ocasio-Cortez in Time 100 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.