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Pompeo’s Extremist View of Presidential Power

Mike Pompeo, CIA director (Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons)

Mike Pompeo’s performance at his confirmation hearing today wasn’t very impressive, and some of his responses to the committee members’ questions were genuinely alarming:

Pompeo gave a similar answer to Sen. Rand Paul’s question and added, “I don’t think that has been disputed by Republicans or Democrats throughout an extended period of time.” Of course, many people from both parties and many more that belong to neither major party have vigorously disputed this understanding of the president’s authority to order military action without Congressional approval, and as Sen. Paul proceeds to explain in the video the Framers themselves rejected the view that Pompeo espouses. Pompeo’s assertion of essentially limitless presidential power to start wars against other states shows a remarkable contempt for the Constitution and the oath of office he would take as Secretary of State. That ought to be enough by itself to persuade a majority of senators to reject Pompeo’s nomination.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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