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 TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment 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 CardinProposed bipartisan kidney legislation takes on kidney disease epidemic in America Lawmakers raise security concerns about China building NYC subway cars House votes to boost retirement savings MORE (D-Md.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineTexas raises age to purchase tobacco to 21 Texas raises age to purchase tobacco to 21 Democrats push to make national security a 2020 wedge issue MORE (D-Va.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersConfused by polls? Watch early primary states — not national numbers Confused by polls? Watch early primary states — not national numbers Biden leads in early voting states, followed by Warren, Sanders: poll MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Biden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Confused by polls? Watch early primary states — not national numbers MORE (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Biden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Trump steadfast in denials as support for impeachment grows 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.