Sen. Tim Kaine demands release of secret Trump war powers memo

WASHINGTON — Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine is demanding the release of a secret memo outlining President Trump’s interpretation of his legal authority to wage war.

Kaine, a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, sent a letter Thursday night to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seeking a 7-page memo the administration has kept under wraps for months. 

Kaine has been leading the charge for Trump to outline his legal rationale for a U.S. bombing campaign in Syria last April in response President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical attacks on civilians in that country. The Virginia Senator and others worry that such action compromises congressional oversight over military action.

There is a new urgency to obtain the memo given increasing U.S. involvement in Syria and recent Trump administration rhetoric on North Korea. Shortly after the 2017 bombing raid, several members of Congress called on Trump to justify it under U.S. and international law. Article I of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war.

“The fact that there is a lengthy memo with a more detailed legal justification that has not been shared with Congress, or the American public, is unacceptable,” Kaine said in the letter to Tillerson, obtained by NBC News. Read more…