The Daily Wire points out that Johnson appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press, where he said Soleimani was a “lawful military objective” and claimed the president had the “constitutional authority” to take him out.
“If you believe everything that our government is saying about General Soleimani, he was a lawful military objective and the President under his constitutional authority as Commander in Chief had ample domestic legal authority to take him out without an additional Congressional authorization,” said Johnson. “Whether he was a terrorist or a general in a military force that was engaged in attacks against our people, he was a lawful military objective.”
This morning, Obama DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson debunked Democrats' claim that Congress needed to approve Soleimani strike
Johnson: Soleimani was a "lawful military objective" & the President had "ample domestic legal authority to take him out" pic.twitter.com/1LUqYAwm9j
— Zach Parkinson (@AZachParkinson) January 5, 2020
Many Democrats, however, disagree with Johnson, and claim the president needed congressional authority to carry out the airstrike.
Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted last week, “The question is this — as reports suggest, did America just assassinate, without any congressional authorization, the second most powerful person in Iran, knowingly setting off a potential massive regional war?”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also questioned the legality of the killing of Soleimani and said, “the President does not have the authority for a war with Iran.”
“Squad” member, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) called President Trump “lawless” for taking action against the Iranian terrorist and said Congress “must reclaim” its responsibility to stop war with Iran.
We cannot stay silent as this lawless President recklessly moves us closer to yet another unnecessary war that puts innocent lives at risk at home & across the globe. Congress alone has the authority to declare war, & we must reclaim our responsibility & say no to war with Iran.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) January 3, 2020
Soleimani was killed last week in an airstrike at Baghdad Airport which was ordered by President Trump. He was a U.S.-designated terrorist and led the Quds Force for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) which supported terrorist proxies in the Middle East and was responsible for the deaths of at least 608 U.S. troops in Iraq.
The Department of Defense said Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Soleimani was planning “imminent” attacks which would have put “dozens” or “hundreds” of American lives at risk.