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tv   Washington Journal Sarah Binder  CSPAN  January 7, 2020 1:28pm-2:00pm EST

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you when the house comes in at to bring that news to you when the house comes in at 2:00 p.m. we will hear from national security officials discussing iran, olicies toward including the recent u.s. drone last week that killed an iranian general. new america in washington. live coverage at 3:00 p.m. eastern. >> our live campaign 2020 overage continues thursday at 7:00 p.m. eastern with president donald trump in toledo, ohio, at rally.america great watch live on c-span2, on demand t c-span.org, or listen on the go with the free c-span radio app. president achment of trump. continue to follow the process senate n leading to a trial. live, unfiltered coverage on c-span, on demand at
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c-span.org/impeachment, and listen on the free c-span radio app. guest: if you does that he needs to follow the law which notify congress, tell them what you're doing, justify it. what's the legal authorization? the constitutional authorization and what's next?
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will they be there and so forth? essentially what they say, i hereby notify you iran, which doesn't quite meet the qualifications and the requirements in the law. democrats on capitol hill yesterday seeking to declassify that notification, make it public. what are the rules about what can be made public, what can be classified? that gets into a host of laws and categories and those who have restified information that of us don't. what i think was at issue there that he president was typically when presidents either a war powers resolution or act as if they're complying, usually the public they can be made available to justify to the public what has been happening to inform top leaders
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in congress. host: take us to the passage of the war powers resolution, 1973. what was the reason it was passed and what was congress seeking to do then? back to 1973.go we have a republican president nixon. we have a democratic house and a senate.ic majority. democratic we have a war in southeast asia for decades, ging however you want to determine it, and democrats in congress, support, are ns' almost essentially at wits end to rein in trying hat they refer to as the imperial presidency, president nixon to wage war without constraints in congress even the constitution says congress has the power to declare war.
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but it's an effort to try to the grounds on which we can assert our power given that president is also the the nder in chief under constitution. host: was it a bipartisan reasserting of congress's power back in 1973. uest: not only were there bipartisan majorities in the house and senate the first time, nixon vetoed it. we didn't have bipartisan 2/3 override president nixon's veto in both chambers that i can't imagine happening in today's polarized process. host: can you translate this. the constitutional powers of the president as commander in chief to introduce united states armed into hostilities are exercised only pursuant to a war, civic of statutory authority or a naj attack uponeated by the united states, its
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territories or its possessions armed forces. guest: the congress is trying to lay outtion condiunder presidents are trying to commit troops into harm's way abroad. o they are laying out various ways that might be justified. in an attack or actual attack, is -defense, right, there the sense from congress they are not going to interfere with the president's commitment with if pearl harbor. again. however, otherwise, they're look, if you are going to commit troops, you need some authorization from congress ecause we are the power that has war power. host: what's the difference between a declaration of war and specific statutory authorization? mind, the eping in constitution does give congress the power to declare war. in our u.s. history we declared war maybe five times, committed nts have troops hundreds of times. o short of a declaration of war, where world war i, world
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ii, in episodes where we may disagree is this war often congress will write a limited authorization. expansive authorization. 2001 in the wake of the attacks 2002 when the bush and istration wants to go attack in iraq. or historically, just isolated where congress gives the president oftentimes blank open-ended authorizations to wage war so he's not compelled to come or doesn't feel compelled to write whole declarations for war. host: war powers and congress, topic in this segment of the "washington journal." the bender with us from brookings institution. also a political science professor at george washington university. in with your all questions. she's here to help answer them. -- crats democrats
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202-748-8920. democrats promising new legislation to limit president specifically when it comes to iran. legislation to limit prt trump specifically when it comes to iran, this is senator tim kaine on the floor yesterday. >> i will state at the -- [video clip] >> i will state my aunt set at the conclusion, the u.s. not be at war with iraq and another war in the middle east would be catastrophic. i recognize that some of my colleagues may have a different point of view. so i speak in the hopes of forging a consensus on at least one issue, that issue is this. if there is to be a war with iran, it should not be initiated by this president, or any president, acting on his or her own. it should only be initiated by vote of congress following an open and public debate in view of the american people. every member of congress should vote, and be accountable for the
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question of whether another war in the middle east is a good idea. the demand for congressional accountability is constitutionally required in the unique framework that we have, we pledge to support and defend the principal, it is up to congress to declare war, not the president. if we engage in a war, the odds are high that young american men and women will be killed or injured. some will see their friends killed and injured. some will have the remainder of physicales affected by and emotional injuries, post-traumatic stress, the pain of losing friends. and their families and friends will bear the scars. if we are to order our troops and their families to run that risk, it should be based on a public consensus as reflected in an open congressional debate and vote. and of congress debates the matter in full view of the public, and reaches the conclusion that war is necessary, so be it.
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even if i were to vote no, the majority of my colleagues voted yes i would agree that the decision to go to war was a legitimate basis to order our best and brightest into harm's way. host: tim kaine on the floor of the senate, sarah binder, what can democrats do and not do when it comes to limiting the president's warmaking ability. --ability? guest: they could go down a legislative path, or a public path. what senator kaine is doing, and what we will see in the house, is to follow the requirements under the war powers resolution, which lays out a series of steps by which congress could challenge the president's decision to commit troops into hostility. ,hat he is suggesting they do under the war powers resolution, each chamber has to consider what we call a joint resolution of disapproval.
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which in essence would tell the you have 30 days to keep those troops, and then to bring them back home. the house would have to pass it, the senate would have to pass law,f protected under the it gives some ramp to the senate floor so republicans cannot just block it. there will be votes according to the way that laws works. law works today, is that the president has an opportunity to sign or veto a resolution blocking his waging of war in iran against iran. and then it would be a question of overcoming the veto. guest: absolutely. most observers don't expect too many republican votes, although republicans in the house earlier, back in 2019, in the abstract, voted to say there
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should not be funds for president to wage war in iran. host: you mentioned the action in the house, elissa slotkin from michigan is leading that trip, she served multiple terms in the middle east under democratic and republican administrations. callers,t with a few sydney, in connecticut, a republican, good morning. binder, thank you for your input, i appreciate your explanation of the war powers act, i have a question for you, what's the difference between what president trump did , and what president obama did, taking out qaddafi? i feel like there's a total lack of grace, and i think the polarization -- i just don't fairif there could be any
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-- when it comes to stripping the president of his power to act unilaterally without congressional authority. question,t's a great because it's complicated. lawyers,s, lawmakers, and white house lawyers have disagreed about what are comparable cases. even in the cases where there was bombing of libya under nato , those wereospices contentious as well and there is a question as to whether those should come under the auspices of the war powers resolution. there is no easy answer. but it there -- but there is a case that supporters want to do their best to insulate presidents and say that the war powers resolution does not apply
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in particular circumstances. , whichts to the legalese luckily i'm not trained to go into. these are point out, political questions for the rest ,f us and they are tough ones because they can be interpreted in all sorts of different ways. holland, michigan, on the democrat line. good morning. caller: good morning. we support president trump, he's based in reality, they have nuclear weapons in venezuela, this is like october 1962. they cannot tie our president's hands, we have to have a strong presidency and we have to support our presidency and the military. that's my comment. thank you. do you see parallels to the cuban missile crisis? hard-pressedd be
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to draw these lines and weave them together. but keep in mind, that in periods of polarization we are much less likely to see the rally around the president that the listener first two. with the suggestion that we rally around the president in times of war, we do see that historically but less and less because partisans disagree about the president's actions and priorities. host: when did that start? guest: it's hard to know when it started relative to the event, certainly attacks on pearl harbor and 9/11 was probably the most salient episode that most of us have in our minds. and that unity of action lasted in the capital for a little while, with measures tightly related to the war and response to 9/11. but it dissipated pretty quickly , the farther you got from
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questions of war, the patriot act and so forth, these internal divisions began to emerge quickly. host: having a conversation on war powers in congress with , a political science professor at george washington university. having this conversation on a day when house and senate leaders are said to be briefed on the administration's actions when it comes to iran, and a day before senators and house members are expected to be briefed. that is expected to take place tomorrow. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff are expected to be on that briefing along with mike pompeo, mark esper, gina haspel are all expected to come to the hill tomorrow. if you have questions this morning about war powers, now is a good time to call in. this is linda, out of ohio, on the republican line.
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good morning. caller: sarah, on confused on a few things -- i'm confused on a few things. you definitely have to have congress if you're going to war, the american people have the right to know that. but when you have to do a strike because somebody's going to take a bunch of americans out, why can't the president have the right to do that? he doesn't have time to ask congress. can you explain that to me? you're doing a very good job of what you're explaining. guest: excellent. that's actually covered in the war powers resolution, giving the president 48 hours which can be long or short depending upon what exactly is going on, but it gives the president 48 hours to send notification to congress. he is supposed to consult prior, to give advanced warning, but with the law wants is within 48 hours to be told what the justification, why is this
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happening, and how long will it last? so there is some recognition in the law that the president cannot have their hands tied behind their backs, but congress aims to bring congress into those deliberations. host: senator lindsey graham on twitter yesterday, right around noon, i will oppose any war powers resolution pushed by speaker pelosi so as to allow this president to have latitude that he needs, the last thing america needs is 535 commanders in chief, americans elected one. guest: senator graham is expressing a view that many lawmakers in the abstract probably agree with, we don't expect congress to be commanders in chief. and we see that in part, when was the last time they passed authorization for use of force?
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2001. and many lawmakers say why don't we rewrite that authorization? you heard senator kaine saying that yesterday. it's time to talk about an authorized use of force. but the sentiment is that congress should be -- should not be waging war and making tactical decisions, i don't think there's disagreement but there is -- these are momentous decisions and presidents do better when they have popular mechanism ina key our system is for lawmakers to take stands and deliberate on it so they can be accountable for those decisions. pass?why is it so hard to why has it been 17 years? guest: lawmakers i think don't want their fingerprints on tough decisions if things go wrong. they really think it's much better for them, lytic leak, to blame the administration when things go wrong or rally with them.
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that really undermines congress's role in the ability of the public to have some say in whether or not military troops get put into harms way. in midvale,s casey, utah, on the democrat line. caller: good morning, first-time collar, thank you for having me. my question is, how does the role, the office of the president and the power of the president expanded during declarations of war in our country? guest: keep in mind that under the constitution, the president is the commander-in-chief. there is the expectation that the administration is in full command of the logistics and strategy of war. so if we were in a situation where congress actually votes for a of war, it is essentially the public authorization, the public justification to allow
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the president to go forward. hard tonding that it's constrain commanders, even in the absence of a declaration of war. , in new hampshire, on the independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. ever since world war i, the assassination of a high official is an unambiguous declaration of the president just unlawfully declared war comments against the law for him to do that. we need to let the world know that this president is rogue, he does not represent the people, the people have the authority to declare war, not the president and we need to let the world know that we are trying, we are going to the processing congress to take him out. i ran come if you are listening, i hope you can find the courage and do us a favor, you'd be richly rewarded by the press. how is that for parity? guest: very strong feelings waged by this president and this
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issue of the general and what to do with regards to iran. and these questions of the legality, even the definition of what is an assassination, prohibited under executive contested, which is an area i can't go into. this is complicated. what constitutes imminent threat? we have heard this term when it comes to what happened last week with the general. what ease and imminent threat? how is it defined? guest: it would not be in the constitution, we get into the white house lawyers and how that happened. but the concept is quite understandable, even though it may be that u.s. troops have not
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been attacked recently, there is a sense or intelligence suggests that it could be upon us shortly. host: this was robert o'brien earlier today in the white house driveway, the national security advisor, asking if the imminent threat is gone in the wake of the killing of the iranian general? [video clip] >> as long as there are bad actors in the world, there are threats to americans and the iranians have been making many threats over the past several days. we take them seriously and we are monitoring. we hope that we have sent a message that that will not be well received. that they think twice about attacking america and its interests. host: if there are always threats to americans because there are bad actors, are there always imminent threats? guest: i think that is part of what trust -- frustrates gemma craddock lawmakers -- democratic
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lawmakers. they want this in a nonclassified document so it can be shared and discussed. one of the difficulties in knowing why, when, and under what circumstances the war powers act can be implemented and followed, and when should the power -- the president have more leeway as the constitution gives both branches powers, it's very difficult and it does not get any easier to make those choices. the two branches and the two parties have different views about how to react in the circumstances. host: john, on the republican line, in new jersey. caller: good morning. once again, trump has been underrated, he fainted and deferred action on some minor provocation and went big when it counted. imagine this general getting in his car and saying when are we going to have dinner?
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next thing he's obliterated. beyond that, sarah, your assessment, i don't think i ran -- iran is capable of waging war against america, i think they understand and respect power. that is the way it is in the middle east. guest: you tapped into what i think is one of the big discussion topics surrounding the attack, what and how will the iranians respond? on what time will they respond? and what has the administration done to anticipate those responses? what strategy is in place? that in particular, even that previous president of both parties, have had that --ortunity to illuminate eliminates the general, but the question is why didn't they? what's different this time with this particular president? host: we have 15 minutes left
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with sarah binder and you can keep calling in on our phone lines, for democrats (202) 748-8000, for republicans (202) 748-8001, for independents (202) 748-8002. i want to shift gears a little bit to talk about a topic from our last segment, senator josh awley of missouri introduced resolution to dismiss the articles of impeachment for lack of prosecution, saying at the house needs to transmit them within 25 days or they can be dismissed. i wonder your thoughts on the senate's ability to do that in a process that is laid out in the constitution? senate, it seems, and as senator majority leader mcconnell says, the senate cannot hold a trial of impeaching the president if it does not have the articles of impeachment from the house. that's not spelled out in the
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constitution. and it's not spelled out in the senates roles, except indirectly. but there is an impeachment case unless the house doesn't send them over. so the senators trying to find a way to get around and acquit the president. , even ifwould require it happened, they would have to make it up. they would have to create a role that would allow them to have a trial. because under the in impeachment trial role, that trial begins, it's precipitated when the articles and the managers walk into the chamber. in the absence of that move, the senate impeachment rules don't apply. there is no trial. so republicans i think are struggling. i don't think many people anticipated, i did not anticipate that the speaker would hold onto the articles and
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use them to try to have some leverage over the shape of that senate trial. that's what i think is going on here when you see discussions of senate republicans trying to change the rules in the way that would allow them to have a trial. but without the articles, does not seem to me that there's actually the ability to have a trial. do you have thoughts on what a fair trial looks like? and the idea of using the same rules set up for the clinton impeachment for a trump impeachment, is that fair? guest: fairness is in the eye of the holder. sometimes the holder wears red clothes or blue clothes. argument, as suggested, why don't they use the rules negotiated for the clinton trial? host: that's what mitch mcconnell was arguing yesterday. guest: a democratic response might be that was a republican inate which had an interest
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prosecuting an impeachment trial against a democratic president. but this context is politically different for the current republican majority because it's the president of their own party and their interest this time is in dismissing the trial quickly without witnesses. theynitial agreement reached in 1999 in a bipartisan basis was we will have a certain amount of time for the two sides and there will be a motion to dismiss. then we will consider motions on .itnesses the republicans in 1999 set it up to say that there would be some consideration. is that fair's fair? are republicans willing to do that this time? it's not clear, special yesterday's news that john bolton wants to testify and is willing to testify. it's not clear where republicans
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are on witnesses. so what's fair? politicians decide what's fair and a dozen often resemble anything that what you and i would think of as fair. host: sam is in washington, d.c., an independent, good morning. caller: good morning and good morning to your guest. one of the points your guest brought up is the justification for war. country has our used false justification. crisishis manufactured seems to be a deflection from the impeachment. generality is that the who decimated isis. al-baghdadi isnk
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laughing in his grave for us to get rid of him, because you would see the black flag all over. ,e have that journalist standing for christians in iraq and syria. so the phony media that fox and they areof it -- refusing to tell us the truth about this guy. host: echoing some of what we've heard from iran's foreign minister immediately after the killing was reported, the foreign minister pointing out that the general had efforts against isis and al qaeda and others. guest: the issue, in part, is what will be the
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the impeachment trial in the senate without any agreement on witnesses. cnn's tweeting with no deal with schumer in sight, mcconnell set to move on a rule to set trial ground rules without democrat support. but republicans won't move until pelosi sends over articles first. we expect to hear there leader mcconnell live shortly as he comments following party caucus lunches. you can watch that live op our companion network, c-span2. now to live coverage of the u.s. nouse here on c-span. -- house here on c-span.

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