Pompeo’s Extremist View of Presidential Power
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 said today, in response to my questioning, that the President can launch strikes against Syria under “Article II powers”. That simply isn’t true. And if it is, then there is virtually no limit to the President’s unilateral military power.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) April 12, 2018
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.