Just before Donald Trump left for the Middle East this weekend, he couldn’t help but send a few more missiles to announce his arrival.
Of course, that’s not the official reason for the additional air strike in Syria on Wednesday, but it might as well be. After the much-publicized 59 Tomahawk missiles Trump hit Syria with in April, calls for the president to come before Congress to obtain authorization for military action were swift.
Trump has yet to heed that call.
Many Republicans argue that authorization already exists in the form of the “War On Terror.” But the Syrian strategy doesn’t fit that mold, because the strikes are often on military bases, rather than terrorist compounds. Regardless, it is looked at by most to be an issue of consent — Just because something was authorized once does not authorize it in perpetuity.
More importantly, unauthorized strikes on another country are, arguably, an impeachable offense. After all, the Constitution expressly forbids the president from going to war unilaterally, and provides that only Congress may authorize engagement of the sort. But Donald Trump isn’t one to worry about a little thing like constitutionality. His congressional foil on Twitter is, though.
Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California’s 33rd Congressional District, has taken it upon himself to troll Trump on Twitter every chance he gets, and he doesn’t miss anything:
If true, this is FRICKIN ILLEGAL. Trump does not have Congressional authorization to attack Syria, a country that has not attacked US. https://t.co/5cf7gBVwC7
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) May 18, 2017
Rep. Lieu is absolutely right. Trump has no authorization, and the escalation of U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict is something that must be addressed by Congress before Trump can legally go any further. Outside the law, Trump seems to do whatever he wants.
Maybe if the special prosecutor in the Russia investigation can’t find enough to impeach Donald Trump, lawmakers can look to Ted Lieu for ideas.
Featured image via Kris Connor/Getty Images