Lee and Paul ‘so wrong!’ War Powers Act ‘blatantly unconstitutional …You cannot have 535 commanders in chief,’ says Graham

(Video screenshots)

Late Saturday, Senate Judiciary Committee chair Lindsey Graham succinctly clarified exactly why Democrat-led efforts to limit President Donald Trump’s constitutionally-guaranteed war powers make zero sense and are “blatantly unconstitutional.”

You cannot have 535 commanders in chief,” he bluntly said to Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro, the host of “Justice with Jeanine,” referring to the total number of representatives and senators who comprise the U.S. Congress.

Can you imagine what our nation would look like if Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Rand Paul, and AOC [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] … [if] we couldn’t defend the nation unless they all agreed?

(Not to mention pro-Iranian antisemites like Ilhan Omar …)

Listen to the whole interview below:

(Source: Fox News)

The discussion centered on a “meaningless” War Powers Act passed by House Democrats (and some Republicans) last week that would amend the original War Powers Resolution of 1973 to limit the president’s ability to pursue military actions against Iran without first obtaining congressional authority.

Two Republican senators, Mike Lee and Rand Paul, have since signaled their interest in voting for the resolution once it reaches the Senate. But according to Graham, they’re on the wrong side of history and constitutional law.

Congress has the power to declare war,” he said, defining the explicit terms of the original War Powers Resolution. “That doesn’t mean the commander in chief can’t use military force to protect the country without Congress.

“So we’ve declared war less than 10 times in the history of the country, but we’ve had military engagements hundreds of times,” he continued. “What the president did is he took out [top Iranian general Qasem] Soleimani, who was planning another attack against American forces in Iraq who were lawfully present.”

“He has all the authority he needs to protect troops in the field. This was a defensive, preemptive attack. The War Powers Act is blatantly unconstitutional. You cannot have 535 commanders in chief.”

After being prompted by Pirro, Graham then addressed Paul and Lee’s support for the “unconstitutional” act.

Both men came out in support of the War Powers Act after being briefed by intelligence officials about the Trump administration operation a week earlier that eliminated top Iranian general and terrorist mastermind Qasem Soleimani.

According to Paul and Lee, the briefing was inadequate and the administration’s reasons for eliminating Soleimani “absurd.”


“I like them both, and if I had an eye problem, I would call Rand Paul,” Graham said Saturday, responding to their complaints. “He’s a great eye doctor, but I would not ask him for commander-in-chief advice or constitutional advice. Mike Lee is a great guy. But all I can tell you is that they’re so wrong.”

He added that their foreign policy perspectives align more-so with socialist Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Bernie versus the president, let alone Ronald Reagan.

“But here’s the legal question: Do you really believe that the Founders of our great Constitution envisioned 535 commander-in-chiefs?” he added, referencing his earlier point. “One person can’t put us in a state of war; it takes a congressional enactment. But a commander-in-chief can use force to protect the nation without 535 people signing on to it.”

Out of fairness, though, he conceded that Paul and Lee aren’t being traitors — if anything, they’re being perfectly consistent with their long-held libertarian views.

“They’ve been consistent. They’re libertarians; I’m not. I’m a Ronald Reagan, I’m a Donald Trump, I’m a George W. Bush Republican,” he said.

The senator concluded this portion of the interview by again reiterating the 535 commanders-in-chief point and further noting that he too has been consistent since day one.

“A commander in chief can use force to protect the nation, without 535 people signing on to it,” he said. “I said this when [Barack] Obama was president. I said it when [Bill] Clinton was president. If you don’t like what the commander in chief is doing, as a member of Congress, cut off funding. We have the power of the purse, but we cannot make military decisions.”

Graham has shared his perspective on social media as well:

Paul has pushed back on these arguments by citing a piece published late last week in National Review.

“There is, after all, a reason why the Founders gave Congress the sole power to declare war in the first place,” the piece by Katherine Timpf reads.

“They were explicitly rejecting the English model, the one that they fought to be freed from, where the entire country could find itself at war based on than the whims of the king. They took war seriously; they wanted it debated and carefully considered. The truth is, it’s Paul and Lee’s position, and not Graham’s, that reflects the position of the Founders — and that seems pretty damn patriotic to me.”


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