Democratic Congressman Ro Khana joined MSNBC’S Halle Jackson to discuss an upcoming war powers resolution in response to the killing of Qassem Soleimani.
During the interview, Rep. Khana contends an additional Article of Impeachment ought to be drafted and is being discussed by House Democrats.
They begin by discussing the war powers resolution:
Jackson: Let me start with the war powers resolution that will be coming up in the House here. What impact do you realistically expect that to have on this administration and should it have been a higher priority from Democrats frankly before this point?
Rep. Khana: It should have Hallie. The president has taken action that is unconstitutional, and here’s the fact, he had a bipartisan majority in both the House and the Senate that were willing to stop this president, stop any funding from taking an offensive action against Iran or Iranian officials. That provision was stripped during the National Defense Authorization, so now congress needs to reassert our role by passing the war powers resolution. I do believe we can get Republicans. We got Republicans in Yemen when we passed the war powers resolution in the Senate and the House, and I’m hopeful we can do it again.
Jackson: The intent would be to send a message to President Trump. Is it a message you think he is willing or able to hear?
Rep. Khana then adds that President Trump’s decision to kill Soleimani without having received congressional authorization is “another impeachable offense.”
When Asked by Jackson if it would be added to the two existing articles, Rep. Khana says it’s “definitely on the table”:
Rep. Khana: Well it’s not just a message. He would be again violating the Constitution by disregarding Congress, and it’s illegal and frankly another impeachable offense for him to continue escalation without Congress’s authorization, and Congress does actually have the power of the purse. I mean, ultimately, we can just say we won’t fund it.
Jackson: It’s interesting you call it an impeachable offense, Congressman. Obviously that word has a lot of significance and is very fraught with meaning given the time we are in now. Are you suggesting that if the president did not abide by the resolution if it were to be passed by the House by congress, that you would potentially add that to Articles of Impeachment against him? How serious are those discussions happening with your colleagues?
Rep. Khana: It’s definitely on the table. I mean there is no greater offense, in my view, than sending American troops to war without congressional authorization. The president has compromised national security when it comes to Ukraine. It’s why we began this. He’s now threatening Iran with 52 strikes on their cultural sites in violation of the 1954 Hague Convention on Cultural Property, something that George Bush helped get ratified in the Senate. I mean it should be scary to people what this president is doing. No regard for the decision making process, no consultation with congress. This is exactly what the framers intended the impeachment power to be used for.
Jackson: He did of course quote-on-quote notify congress with that tweet that he sent out saying:
These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2020
Does that hold water for you?
Rep. Khana: Well first of all, his tweet is a violation of the 1954 Hague Convention again something George W bush helped ratify, so it’s a violation of international law. Second, it’s not just that he has to notify congress, he has to get congress’s approval. Congress is Article I, they have to authorize a war, and he has not gotten any congressional authorization for any attack on Iran. Their argument that this is self-defense doesn’t pass any possible test.
They conclude the interview with a discussion of the impeachment timeline, specifically when Speaker Pelosi will send the articles over to the Senate:
Jackson: Before I let you go, we talked a little bit about impeachment but that is obviously the other big news that is going to be happening on the Hill over the next 2 weeks, 3 weeks, who knows how long. Nancy Pelosi has still not sent over those Articles of Impeachment, Senator Schumer seemed to suggest this weekend that Democrats have sort of gotten what they needed out of this. Documents have come out. He and Adam Schiff talked about exposing what they described as the hypocrisy on the Senate side. Do you expect the Speaker to send over the articles this week, and do you feel that the point has been made by now?
Rep. Khana: Hallie, I do expect the Speaker at some point to send over the articles but here is the only thing
Jackson: At some point this week Congressman? Like in the next 5 days?
Rep. Khana: Well that’s here decision. I don’t want to speculate nor do I know the timing, but let me say this. All the Speaker, all the Democrats are asking for is let Justice Roberts make the rules. She doesn’t want to make the rules. Senator Schumer doesn’t want to make rules but certainly Senator McConnell and the White House shouldn’t make the rules. If Senator McConnell agrees that Justice Roberts should get to make the rules of who testify, a Bush appointee, he would have absolutely no debate from any of the Democrats.