House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has called on Congress to hold public hearings on President Donald Trump’s decision to authorize the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 2.
The Pentagon announced that Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist group, had been killed by a U.S. airstrike at Baghdad airport in Iraq last Thursday.
In a tweet on Monday, Jan. 6, Schiff said the Trump administration’s decision targeting a top Iranian official for killing is a “dangerous and provocative” move.
A dangerous and provocative decision to target a top Iranian official for killing.
Threats to bomb cultural sites and use disproportionate force.
These are the acts of a President with no functional national security process.
Congress must engage with hearings and constraints. https://t.co/eKZrgvfoxx
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 6, 2020
“Congress must engage with hearings and constraints,” Schiff said, repeating the point he shared with the Washington Post earlier on Monday.
In an interview with the Post, Schiff said, “there should be open hearings on this subject,” because “the president has put us on a path where we may be at war with Iran. That requires the Congress to fully engage.”
Schiff said he is not satisfied that intelligence he has seen so far “supports the conclusion that the killing of Soleimani was going to either prevent attacks on the United States or reduce the risk to American lives.”
Schiff called for the open testimony though the Trump administration has released its explanation after the airstrike was carried out.
In a statement on Jan. 3, the Pentagon said, “Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” conducting the recent attacks on U.S. troops and embassy in Baghdad, and the “strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.”
President Trump in a brief address on Jan. 3 also clarified, “Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him.”
The president called Soleimani “the number-one terrorist anywhere in the world,” and the killing is what the United States should have done long ago.”
In accordance with the law, the administration also sent Congress a letter of notification after the strike, but it was completely classified, CNBC reported, citing Democrats.