Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has demanded that President Donald Trump declassify his rationale for the assassination of a top Iranian general as top Democrats describing the move as a dangerous provocation.
Claiming there was “no legitimate justification” for keeping the war powers notification secret, Schumer warned Trump that the public deserves to know why he ordered the killing of General Qassem Soleimani.
“It is critical that national security matters of such import be shared with the American people in a timely manner. An entirely classified notification is simply not appropriate in a democratic society,” Schumer wrote in the letter sent on Sunday.
The letter was also signed by New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also derided Trump’s notification and said it should not be classified.
Trump has issued a series of tweets that he asserts fulfill his responsibility to keep Congress updated under the terms of the War Powers Act.
Democrats reject that claim and plan to push for more information.
The White House has claimed it killed Soleimani to prevent “imminent” attacks on Americans.
However, neither officials nor Trump has provided any evidence of such a plot, raising suspicions that the president hopes to use the crisis to distract attention from his impeachment woes.
House Democrats are introducing a bill that seeks to bar Trump from launching military action against Iran without congressional approval.