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Kaine Statement On Release Of DOJ Opinion On April 2018 Syria Airstrikes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, released the following statement after the Department of Justice released a memo on its legal justification for the April 2018 airstrikes against Syria:

“The Administration asserts that its firing of missiles against a foreign nation is not likely to ‘rise to the level of war in the constitutional sense.’  That’s nonsense. Is there any doubt that America would view a foreign nation firing missiles at targets on American soil as an act of war? The ludicrous claim that this President can magically assert ‘national interest’ and redefine war to exclude missile attacks and thereby bypass Congress should alarm us all. This is further proof that Congress must finally take back its authority when it comes to war.” 

For years, Kaine has been outspoken about Presidents’ efforts to expand the use of military force without congressional authorization. In April, Kaine criticized the President’s decision to launch airstrikes against the Syrian government without Congressional approval. Following strikes against Syria in April 2017, Kaine has repeatedly demanded that the Trump Administration release a secret memo detailing the legal basis for airstrikes against the Shayrat military airbase in Syria. Kaine secured a commitment from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to help release the 2017 memo but has yet to receive a response.