GOP presses Obama on legality of closing Guantanamo

GOP presses Obama on legality of closing Guantanamo
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Two Kansas Republicans are demanding President Obama directly respond to his attorney general’s comments this week that “the law currently does not allow” transferring Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States.

“Members of your own administration have acknowledged that you are currently legally prohibited from bringing detainees to the United States,” Reps. Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUS to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump threat lacks teeth to block impeachment witnesses Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs MORE and Lynn JenkinsLynn Haag JenkinsFormer GOP Rep. Costello launches lobbying shop Kansas Republican dropping Senate bid to challenge GOP rep Anti-corruption group hits Congress for ignoring K Street, Capitol Hill 'revolving door' MORE wrote in a letter to Obama dated Thursday. “Mr. President, do you agree with Attorney General [Loretta] Lynch that the law does not allow the transfer of these individuals from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the United States?”

Pentagon teams have scouted sites in Kansas, South Carolina and Colorado for the potential to house Guantanamo detainees as the president looks to close the facility.

But the National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress continues a ban on transferring detainees to U.S. soil.

During a congressional hearing this week, Lynch acknowledged that ban.

“With respect to individuals being transferred to the United States, the law currently does not allow that,” Lynch told the House Judiciary Committee. “That is not, as I am aware of, going to be contemplated, given the legal prescriptions.

“Certainly it is the position of the Department of Justice that we would follow the law of the land in regard on that issue.”

Lawmakers have jumped on her comments as evidence any executive action to close the detention facility — which the administration hasn’t ruled out — would be illegal.

“Even Attorney General Lynch, the top legal authority from his own administration, has acknowledged that such a move would be illegal,” Pompeo said in a press release.

“It’s time that the president finally realize that our founding fathers did not want a king, and the American people don’t want a president who acts like one,” he continued. “President Obama should abandon his consideration of issuing an executive order and start working to protect Americans and defeat terror.”