US President Donald Trump vetoed senate Joint Resolution 68, commonly known as the Iran War Powers resolution, on Wednesday. The resolution came in response to the assassination of Qassem Soleimani in early January.
In a statement released by the White House, Trump called the resolution “insulting” and characterized it as a political attack by Congressional Democrats. The resolution passed the Senate 55-45 and the House 227-186. It is unlikely that Congress will override the veto.
The Trump administration continues to insist that the assassination was justified and legal under both the constitution and American law:
In addition, S.J. Res. 68 is based on misunderstandings of facts and law. Contrary to the resolution, the United States is not engaged in the use of force against Iran. Four months ago, I took decisive action to eliminate Qassem Soleimani while he was in Iraq. Iran responded by launching a series of missiles at our forces stationed in Iraq. No one was killed by these attacks. Further, the strike against Soleimani was fully authorized by law, including by the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 and Article II of the Constitution.
The administration claims that the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 gives the president the power to conduct strikes such as the one killed Soleimani. According to the text of the AUMF, such attacks must be limited to people, groups or countries involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks. While Soleimani was closely tied to the Iranian government, Iran’s only confirmed link to the attacks is tenuous and tangential. The administration’s stance has faced both national and global condemnation. Many consider it a violation of international law and an overreach of the president’s constitutional authority.