The Trump Administration Was Ordered to Disclose the Legal Basis for Its Syria Strike. It Handed over Squat

The Trump Administration Was Ordered to Disclose the Legal Basis for Its Syria Strike. It Handed over Squat by Alex Emmons – Russia-Insider

After President Donald Trump launched a cruise missile strike against Syria in April, his administration struggled to justify the legal basis for the attack. For months, a watchdog group has hounded the Trump administration for its legal reasoning. Under court order, the government has finally produced documents that reveal little, if anything.

One document the administration saw fit to release is simply an aggregation of praise for Trump’s strike from pundits, lawmakers, and world leaders. It was prepared by Trump’s National Security Council.

On April 6, the United States fired 59 tomahawk missiles at Syria’s Shayrat air base in response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun, Syria, two days earlier.

The day after the missile strike, an advocacy group called the Protect Democracy Project filed a request with multiple agencies for documents that outline the administration’s legal basis for the attack. After the Pentagon and State Department denied the group’s request for expedited processing, a judge ruled in July that there was a “compelling need” for the information to get out and ordered the administration to provide answers “as soon as practicable.”

In response, the administration on Friday released nearly 60 pages of responsive documents, none of which contain any legal reasoning beyond what appears in the White House’s public statements. The Protect Democracy Project has published the documents on its website.

The documents consist mostly of transcripts of the administration’s public statements, briefings, and press conferences about the strike, as well as emails from a Justice Department spokesperson that are almost entirely redacted.

In the Trump administration’s tradition of being nontransparent, the Department of Justice even redacted memos with talking points that are traditionally circulated throughout the government and sometimes to members of the media.

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