This is not a time for “patience” — Donald Trump is not fit for office. It is evident that there is zero reason to believe “he can be a good president.”
Whether by the nature of Mr. Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia, his willingness to exploit the office of the Presidency for his personal gain and treat the government like a family enterprise, his conduct during Charlottesville, his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accords, or his seeming determination to take the nation to war, he has violated the Constitution, the office of the Presidency, and the trust of the public. He is a clear and present danger to the United States of America.
Republican Senator Bob Corker, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, referred to the Trump White House as a day care center, and observed that this president has put us “on the path to World War III.” This comes following reports that Trump’s own Secretary of State referred to him as a “moron” and that Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have an agreement not to leave Trump home alone for fear of what he could do. And we have seen other Republican Senators, including Senators Sasse and Flake, express their own profound concerns.
If Trump has lost the trust of the members of his own administration and leading members of his own party, surely it is time to act.
An accounting of his record to date leads to the same conclusion. He is turning his back on Lady Liberty by holding immigrant children hostage. He is actively sabotaging the Affordable Care Act — a law he is constitutionally obligated to faithfully execute — while seeking to strip away health care coverage that will leave millions of Americans to choose between life and bankruptcy. He is repealing clean air protections and unleashing polluters, even as increasingly catastrophic natural disasters supercharged by our warming planet ravaged the country throughout the summer — from hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, to the wildfires that have raged across California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. He has threatened to reduce aid for millions of American citizens in Puerto Rico who are struggling to survive without drinkable water or electricity — a move that would be a total dereliction of his duty. And every day, Americans are left bracing for a Twitter screed that could set off a nuclear war. These actions represent systemic attacks on our nation’s future. They endanger every single one of your constituents. That’s why you have a duty to speak out.
There is no moral reason to remain silent about this. Constitutional experts like Noah Feldman have already laid out clear legal and historical foundations for impeachment. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, a co-author of the Federalist Papers — and an immigrant himself — argued that “high crimes and misdemeanors” could be defined as “abuse or violation of some public trust.” This president has clearly already exceeded these standards. Congress has impeached past presidents for far less.
While we know that Republicans do not seem prepared to pursue impeachment even as members in their own ranks openly question Trump’s fitness for office, we are all working hard to ensure Democrats will take back the House and Senate in 2018.
Given Trump’s total lack of fitness for office, the question of impeachment becomes a very real issue should we succeed in our midterm goal. That makes it imperative for every Governor of every state, and every mayor of every city, to acknowledge where they stand. This question affects the lives of every single American. They deserve to hear whether or not our party is willing to do what is necessary to protect them and their families. This is not an academic exercise. The very stability of the Republic is at stake.
So, by way of this letter, I am asking you today to make public your position on the impeachment of Donald Trump, and to urge your federal representatives to remove him from office at once. Every day he remains in reach of the nuclear codes is another day for him to menace the citizens you serve and protect. Your constituents deserve to know they are represented by people in every level of government who have the patriotism and political courage to stand up and take action when it is so desperately needed. This is not a time to give in to an establishment that insists on acting the way the establishment always does, with “patience” or “caution.” It is an unprecedented moment, and it calls for extraordinary measures. We cannot remain fixated on what is politically smart. We have to do what is morally right.
McGovern, Democrats call Trump’s Charlottesville remarks a “moral outrage”
Demand Congress send a clear message by censuring the President for his comments
(editor’s note: I’ve made some sentences bold. – R.T.)
Congressman Jim McGovern joined yesterday Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) in introducing a censure resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives against President Donald Trump for his comments blaming “both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and excusing the behavior of participants in the ‘Unite the Right’ rally.
The censure resolution condemns the President for failing to immediately and specifically name and condemn the white supremacist, Ku Klux Klan, and neo-Nazi groups responsible for actions of domestic terrorism in Charlottesville over the weekend, and for doubling-down on his comments by attempting to create a moral equivalency between white supremacists and those counter-protesting the ‘Unite the Right’ rally.
The resolution, which was cosponsored by 79 Members of Congress, offers an official censure by Congress of President Trump for his remarks, and calls for the President to fire any and all advisors who have urged him to cater to white supremacist movements in the United States.
“President Trump’s remarks in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville are outrageous. His refusal to completely and totally denounce white supremacist groups and all who enable their bigotry is unacceptable. America’s leaders must send a clear message to President Trump that these comments are not just wrong, but they insult the moral convictions and ideals our country was built on,” Congressman Jim McGovern said. “This is a moment history will remember. Americans need to know their leaders have the courage to stand with them. We must not only condemn the President’s remarks, we must censure the President for the unacceptable way he has represented our country in this critical moment.”
In addition to Representatives McGovern, Nadler, Watson Coleman, and Jayapal, the following Members have signed on as cosponsors: Joe Crowley (D-NY), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Bill Foster (D-IL), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Scott Peters (D-CA), Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Al Lawson (D-FL), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Greg Meeks (D-NY), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Tim Walz (D-MN), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), David Loebsack (D-IA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Anthony Brown (D-MD), David Cicilline (D-RI), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Al Green (D-TX), Mark Takano (D-CA), Grace Meng (D-NY), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Don Beyer (D-VA), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Karen Bass (D-CA), Adam Smith (D-WA), William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Norma Torres (D-CA), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Donald McEachin (D-VA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), James Langevin (D-RI), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Ruben Kihuen (D-NV), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Alma Adams (D-NC), Robin Kelly (D-IL), and Jimmy Gomez (D-CA).
The full text of the resolution:
H. RES. __
Censuring and condemning President Donald Trump.
August 18, 2017
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mr. NADLER, Ms. WATSON COLEMAN, and Ms. JAYAPAL submitted the following resolution, which was referred to the Committee on _______;
Censuring and condemning President Donald Trump.
Whereas on August 11, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, a gathering of white supremacists, including neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members, and other white nationalist groups, marched through the streets with torches as part of a coordinated ‘Unite the Right’ rally spewing racism, anti-Semitism, bigotry and hatred;
Whereas on August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, a car driven by James Alex Fields, Jr. rammed into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 20 others;
Whereas President Donald Trump’s immediate public comments rebuked “many sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and failed to specifically condemn the ‘Unite the Right’ rally or cite the white supremacist, neo-Nazi gathering as responsible for actions of domestic terrorism;
Whereas on August 15, 2017 President Donald Trump held a press conference at Trump Tower where he re-asserted that “both sides” were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and attempted to create a moral equivalency between white supremacist, KKK, neo-Nazi groups and those counter-protesting the ‘Unite the Right’ rally;
Whereas President Donald Trump has surrounded himself with, and cultivated the influence of, senior advisors and spokespeople who have long histories of promoting white nationalist, racist and anti-Semitic principles and policies within the country;
Whereas President Donald Trump has provided encouragement and little to no denunciation of white supremacist groups and individuals who promote their bigoted, nationalist ideology and policies;
Whereas President Donald Trump has failed to provide adequate condemnation and assure the American people of his resolve to opposing domestic terrorism: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
(1) does hereby censure and condemn President Donald Trump for his inadequate response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017, his failure to immediately and specifically name and condemn the white supremacist groups responsible for actions of domestic terrorism, for re-asserting that “both sides” were to blame and excusing the violent behavior of participants in the ‘Unite the Right’ rally, and for employing people with ties to white supremacist movements in the White House, such as Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka; and
(2) does hereby urge President Donald Trump to fire any and all White House advisors who have urged him to cater to the white supremacist movement in the United States.
****** And FYI …
☎BANNON’S OUT! Next WH madman who must GET THE BOOT:☎☎☎
Let us Impeach President Donald Trump. Be done with Trump!, America’s big, bloated megalomaniac – our orange-headed, toxic buffoon! He has turned us Americans into a global punchline! He has destroyed millions, globally and locally – humans, fauna and flora! From the refugee, the young woman – really, just a girl – who flees her homeland and runs straight into America’s arms to escape gang rape, stoning, starvation for her children … to our Appalachian streams and their quicksilver fishes: Trump has hurt us all.
And he’s only been in office for eight months!
Impeach Donald Trump!
If enough Dems win the House in 2018, it will happen – but not soon enough!
I say: House Republicans, put your political careers into the buzz saw and do the RIGHT thing: Cut Trump out of the White House the way you would cut a bruise out of a beautiful apple with your pen knife! That beautiful apple is America!
Do it after summer recess…
Comedian Dave Chappelle nailed it when he said: Trump’s a bad DJ at a great party.
That GREAT party is AMERICA!!
I am exhausted – the world is exhausted! – emotionally, spiritually, psychologically – by this pathological liar who is squatting in OUR White House! The people’s house!!
The LAST STRAW, for this Green Island gal???
A few days ago, as reported in Sports Illustrated, President Trump called the White House, the people’s house, “A REAL DUMP.”
“A real dump.”
Would you put up with some asshole calling your apartment, condo, ranch, Dutch colonial or room “a real dump”?
Didn’t think so!
Early Americans chose NOT to call our president YOUR HIGHNESS. They chose the every-man title “Mr. President.” They chose NOT to attach a fancy name to his abode or build him a castle. No castles for us Americans! No moats, moors or parapets for us! Our head guy (or gal) – the person who served/represented WE, THE PEOPLE, would live in a house, just like most Americans did. True, it would be a big house and have nicer china, but it would still be a house – a white house. So we called it the White House!
If you visit Washington, D.C., for the first time ever, you’ll be a little surprised when you first see the White House!❤ I know I was! It is not really all that big a house! It looks like a huge estate on television, but it is not in real life!! … Cool!!
Apparently, the White House is not grand enough for Donald Trump, the king of opulent crud.
The White House is just not ostentatious enough for the King of the Moneyed.
Or gold-plated enough.
Or gaudy enough.
Or bloated enough.
The gold-leafed toilet to puke or shit into is missing!
So he calls the people’s house – belonging to you and to me! – to just regular folks (the millions who voted for him and made him president!) – “A Real Dump.”
Trump’s possible very own collusion with Russia to turn the 2016 U.S. presidential election in his favor, for me, at this moment, this early Saturday eve, August 5, 2017, means ZIPPO. Nothing. Nada.
I, Rose T., caffeinated, swingin’ at the ceiling, my Lafayette Street childhood cold-water tenement existence haunting me more than usual…my husky mix Jett yippin’ at God’s lilly white robe while wearing his Yankee Doodle hat …
… I, Rose T., say: SHUT THE TRUMP DEBACLE DOWN!!
Enough is enough!!
Impeach President Donald Trump!!
Shut the Trump Reality Show, in all its vulgar, crass, ghastly Day Glo “glory,” off.
Vice President Mike Pence is this liberal’s nightmare, but I’ll deal with his neanderthal political agenda when Trump goes, probably resigns, like Nixon did, to avoid impeachment. I’ll sleep ok at night knowing Pence sucks on climate change, women’s rights, saving the American working and middle classes but HE IS NOT DONALD TRUMP. That he won’t start a nuclear war with North Korea – or Russia. That America – and the world – won’t know nuclear holocaust because Trump has a hair across his fat arse. That President Pence will shut his pie hole and not say asinine things 24/7. Pence will at least give lip service to the American ideals and building blocks: human rights, truth, artistic, religious, sexual and political freedoms, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, Yes! to fledgling democracies, YES! to freedom of speech, Yes! to freedom of the press, YES! to sending EVERY GIRL ON THE PLANET TO SCHOOL and eradicating global diseases … goals and ideals the world connects to America, or the idea of America. The shining light in that city on the hill!
It’s so easy: TRUMP HAS TO GO because HE IS MENTALLY ILL.
MENTALLY UNFIT TO BE ARGUABLY THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON ON THE PLANET.
Trump is Unwell. Can’t You Tell?!
He called the White House, home to some of the greatest American thinkers and leaders in the history of America – Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt, Eisenhower, JFK – he called their home “A REAL DUMP.” Great Americans who filled his “dump” with grand, ahead of their times IDEAS, IDEALS, KNOWLEDGE, POETRY and SCIENCE … trips to the stars and back! Not midnight-trips-to-the-toilet Tweets!!
Who amongst us would say something so awful about THE BRILLIANT SIDE OF OUR AMERICAN FAMILY?! Who would diss their home – the people’s home – the White House – this way?!
I grew up in what most people would call a “dump” in Green Island years ago! For example, on Lafayette Street, in my childhood “dump,” we had: A tub that leaked onto the ceiling of the tenement below us every time you tried to take a shower. We had one crappy gas kitchen stove with a gas “log” to heat a three-bedroom flat where three little babes (my two sisters and I) lived. We had a perennially cracked window pane in our back door that the January winds always whistled through. Every winter my mother taped clear plastic wrap over all our windows to better keep out the cold and wind. Still, the snow sifted down, light as sprinkled sugar, and I would run my small finger through the little slanted hill of white snowflakes that formed inside our kitchen window sill, smiling at its pure, pretty whiteness. As a little girl in winter time, I slept in my bed wearing an ugly navy blue seaman’s knit cap but I dreamed of those beautiful white sugar snowflake mini-mountains…and wrote poems to them on my Saturday afternoons! And my mother told her sisters, my aunties: My Rosalie is so smart she is going to college someday! To maybe be a veterinarian because she loves animals so much! My mother gave birth to her and MY American Dream in that “dump.”
I guess a person today would call my childhood home in Green Island “a real dump.”
But, for me, today, whenever I drive by that Lafayette Street three decker (yes, it’s still standing!), I feel proud. It’s a shrine: A shrine to my immigrant Bapy from Poland who couldn’t write two words in English and wore my sisters and my knee-socks on her arms, in layers – the socks she cut the toe tops off of – to keep warm and soothe her arthritis. That “dump” is a shrine to my late, beautiful mother who not only persevered and raised (single handedly) her three little girls but INSPIRED us to be the best!
Rump roast for dinner every night, America, courtesy of our President Donald Trump – the biggest horse’s ass to ever lumber through the oval office! And now we learn something truly damning and prison-worthy: Donald Trump Jr. meets with the enemy – a Russian lawyer connected to the Kremlin – during the presidential campaign to get dirt on his dad’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. Why? Because they wanna win – the Trump baboons AND Vladimir Putin. Putin, prez of Russia, wants his brutal world view IN – spread all over the planet like a sloppy shit sandwich. He wants the American/Western European/Democracy-embracing world view OUT. Putin wants more raw power, a larger Russia, autocratic rule … fortifications – not more free places! And he will kill anyone – journalists, dissenting Russian oligarchs, etc – who stands in his way. He has made bumbling Trump a pawn in his lethal games.
If this were CLINTON, she’d be in shackles – or at least impeached. This is what needs to happen to Trump.
WAKE UP, REPUBLICANS!
WAKE UP, AMERICA!
Sanctions, strong words, hitting where it hurts most – this is what America must do to Russia to keep Putin from compromising more American elections. To quote from a Woody Gutherie song (Woody’s birthday is coming up – July 14❤): “This land is your land …
… this land is my land!” Rose
IT AIN’T VLADMIR PUTIN’S LAND!
P.S. … Saw my fave flower people in Green Island today. … More flowers! Fewer Trump gaffes, lies, excuses and evasions, pussy-grabs … love-sick looks thrown at Putin!
editor’s note: I’ve made some sentences bold. – R.T.
U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA), John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), and Barbara Lee (D-CA), led a letter signed by 64 House Democrats to rebuke President Trump’s inconsistent and dangerous statements regarding U.S. policy towards North Korea, notify him that military strikes without Congressional approval would violate the Constitution, and urge him to instead adhere to the diplomatic approach recently articulated by his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The 64 signers represent the 64 years since the Armistice Agreement was signed to end hostilities in the Korean War.
“The U.S. and the international community must deal with North Korea and negotiate a tough agreement that freezes further nuclear development and tests and, ultimately, takes their nukes off the table,” Congressman McGovern said. “That requires cool heads and hard-nosed diplomacy. Erratic tweets and saber-rattling with nuclear weapons are not solutions, they’re a fast-track to catastrophe.”
Congressman John Conyers, Dean of the House of Representatives and one of two remaining Korean War Veterans serving in Congress, said “President Trump’s irresponsible statements on North Korea endanger our troops, our regional allies such as South Korea and Japan, and global security more broadly. As someone who has watched this conflict evolve since I was sent to Korea as a young Army Lieutenant, it is a reckless, inexperienced move to threaten military action that could end in devastation instead of pursuing vigorous diplomacy.”
“As a daughter of a veteran of the Korean War and a member of the Military and Veterans Appropriations Subcommittee, I will continue to demand that President Trump provide Congress with a comprehensive strategy for deterring North Korea that puts diplomacy and non-military strategies first,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “This letter reinforces the constitutional responsibility of the President to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering any use of U.S. military force.”
Responding to Trump’s recent comments that appeared to threaten military action against North Korea, the letter states that “While both the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973 provide the Office of the President with the authority to act in cases of emergencies, both require an affirmative authorization from Congress before our nation engages in military action abroad against a state that has not attacked the U.S. or our assets abroad.”
The letter notes that “Military action against North Korea was considered by the Obama, Bush and Clinton Administrations, but all ultimately determined there was no military option that would not run the unacceptable risk of a counter-reaction from Pyongyang.” The letter says that debate over any potential military action against North Korea is crucial, as the North Korean reaction to such a strike “could immediately threaten the lives of as many as a third of the South Korean population, put nearly 30,000 U.S. service members and over 100,000 other U.S. citizens residing in South Korea in grave danger, and also threaten other regional allies such as Japan.”
The letter urges Trump to “adhere to the diplomatic approach recently articulated by Secretary Tillerson,” who recently stated that the Trump Administration’s sole goal is to “seek a denuclearized Korean Peninsula” without pursuing a regime change that could potentially risk a devastating conflict. The letter instead calls on the Administration to engage directly with North Korea and explore the possibility of a negotiated resolution to the nuclear issue.
An Economist/YouGov poll conducted from April 29 to May 2, 2017 found that 60 percent of Americans support “direct negotiations between the United States and North Korea” to end North Korea’s nuclear program, while 10 percent were somewhat opposed and 8 percent strongly opposed. 63 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of Republicans support direct negotiations with North Korea, while 70 percent of Hillary Clinton voters and 68 percent of Trump backers were supportive.
The letter also urges the Administration to “address humanitarian issues of mutual concern such as the reunification of Korean and Korean American families as well as the repatriation of the remains of US servicemen left in North Korea following the War.”
“Last fall, traveling to Pyongyang to discuss the return of US Korean War servicemen’s remains collected over the years by the North Koreans, I flew over where my father’s plane went down. It was the closest I’ve been to him since I was three years old,” said Rick Downes, Executive Director of the Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs. “Like thousands of other American families who pray to bring their loved ones home, I hope to go back and bring my father home. Calls for diplomacy like this make that opportunity much more real.”
As of late March 2017, there were 61,322 surviving family members among the list of those waiting to reunite with relatives in North Korea, and more than 62 percent of them are over the age of 80, according to Nan Kim, an associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and author of Memory, Reconciliation, and Reunions in South Korea: Crossing the Divide.
Signers of the letter included 5 Democratic Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the leadership of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The 64 letter signers included: Alma S. Adams (NC-12), Karen Bass (CA-37), Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Don Beyer (VA-08), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Michael E. Capuano (MA-07), Salud O. Carbajal (CA-24), Judy Chu (CA-27), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Katherine M. Clark (MA-05), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Wm. Lacy Clay (MO-01), Emanuel L. Cleaver, II (MO-05), Steve Cohen (TN-09), John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Peter A. DeFazio (OR-04), Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-03), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Keith Ellison (MN-05), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-02), Bill Foster (IL-11),Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Luis V. Gutiérrez (IL-04), Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Alan S. Lowenthal (CA-47), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Richard E. Neal (MA-01), Rick Nolan (MN-08), Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Janice D. Schakowsky (IL-09), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), José E. Serrano (NY-15), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), Louise Slaughter (NY-25), Darren Soto (FL-09), Mark Takano (CA-41), Niki Tsongas (MA-03), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07),Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Peter Welch (VT-AL), and Frederica Wilson (FL-24)
Full Text of Letter:
May 23, 2017
President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump:
We write to once again draw your attention to your constitutional responsibility to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering use of U.S. military force, which would include any military action against North Korea that is not in response to an attack by that country. The mandate requiring Congressional consultation and authorization is prescribed in both the U.S. Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973.
While both the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973 provide the Office of the President with the authority to act in cases of emergencies, both require an affirmative authorization from Congress before our nation engages in military action abroad against a state that has not attacked the U.S. or our assets abroad. As Section 2 of the War Powers Resolution of 1973 makes clear, absent a declaration of war or a specific statutory authorization approved by Congress, only a “a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces” can justify military action undertaken without Congressional authorization.
Few decisions are more needing of debate than a move to launch attacks, or declare war, on a nuclear-armed state such as North Korea. Military action against North Korea was considered by the Obama, Bush and Clinton Administrations, but all ultimately determined there was no military option that would not run the unacceptable risk of a counter-reaction from Pyongyang. This reaction could immediately threaten the lives of as many as a third of the South Korean population, put nearly 30,000 U.S. service members and over 100,000 other U.S. citizens residing in South Korea in grave danger, and also threaten other regional allies such as Japan.
In such a volatile region, an inconsistent or unpredictable policy runs the risk of unimaginable conflict. That is why we strongly urge you to adhere to the diplomatic approach recently articulated by Secretary Tillerson, who stated that your Administration’s sole goal is to “seek a denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” and that you “do not seek regime change” and “do not seek a collapse of the regime,” both of which could lead down a path that could risk nuclear war. We support Secretary Tillerson’s statement that the preferred method for resolution is “direct talks with North Korea,” including persuading them to relinquish their nuclear weapons by assuring them that they “do not need these weapons to secure the existence of [their] regime.”
We respectfully request more information about the steps your Administration is taking to advance the prospects for direct negotiations that could lower the potential for catastrophic war and ultimately lead to the denuclearization of the peninsula. We would also urge the Administration to outline steps to address humanitarian issues of mutual concern such as the reunification of Korean and Korean American families as well as the repatriation of the remains of US servicemen left in North Korea following the War.
We look forward to receiving details about your plans for a negotiated resolution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, and, in the event that your plans do include an ill-advised military component, we stand ready to exercise our constitutional duty to approve, or reject, any such military action.