Ted Cruz forces Eric Holder to verbally admit killing U.S. citizens with drones is unconstitutional

Ted CruzSen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) backed Attorney General Eric Holder into a corner Wednesday on the constitutionality of a drone strike killing a U.S. citizen in U.S. territory.

Cruz was referring to a letter Holder wrote to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that read, “It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the president to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.”

But by the end of Cruz’s interrogation, Holder finally conceded it was not in fact constitutional.

Cruz first asked Holder in front of the senate Judiciary Committee, “If an individual is sitting quietly in a cafe in the U.S., in your legal judgment, does the Constitution allow a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil to be killed by a drone?”

“If that individual is not posing an imminent and immediate threat of death or bodily harm,” he added.

Holder said, “On the basis of what you said, I don’t think you can arrest that person.”

Cruz then tried to pose the question differently.

“If the person is suspected to be a terrorist,  you have abundant evidence that he is a terrorist and he is involved in terrorist plots but at the moment he is not pointing a bazooka at the Pentagon, does the Constitution allow a drone to kill that citizen?” he asked.

“I would not think that would be an appropriate use of any kind of lethal force,” Holder responded. “We would deal with that in a way we would typically deal with a situation like that.”

But before he could finish, Cruz asserted, ”My question wasn’t about appropriateness or prosecutorial discretion. It was a simple legal question.”

Later, when Cruz tried to move on from the subject after Holder refused to give a direct answer, Holder finally admitted, “Translate my ‘appropriate’ to ‘no.’ I thought I was saying ‘no’.”

“After much gymnastics, I am glad to know that it is the opinion of the Department of Justice that it would be unconstitutional,” Cruz finished.

Meanwhile, Senator Rand Paul was on the Senate floor filibustering John Brennan’s nomination to lead the CIA over the Obama administration’s refusal to say in writing that it would not send drones after American citizens. Multiple times during the filibuster the Texas Senator came on to give Paul encouragement and give him a break from speaking. Cruz praised Paul for his leadership on the issue of drone strike legality, calling him a “modern Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

“And my only regret is that there are not 99 of your colleagues here today standing with you in defense of the most fundamental principle in our Declaration of Independence and in our Constitution — namely that each of us is endowed with certain unalienable rights by our Creator and first among them is life,” Cruz told Paul toward the beginning of the filibuster. “The right to life and the right not to have life arbitrarily extinguished by our government without due process of law.”

Comments

Comments

  1. Roger Mitchell says:

    Yes Cruz pulled it out of Holder after Holder used every word or phrase and minuet he could to keep side stepping the question thats how this entire administration works , So much for transparency ! I still do not believe him I believe nothing these people in the Obama Administration ever says . Look at Benghazi still nothing and what 7 months now what a snow job.. II still want to know what the deal was with Putin and Obama and what Obama was going to become more flexable about after the elections ???

  2. I have watched Senator Ted (missle) Cruz eat Eric Holder alive several times. Cruz wouldn’t let him wiggle off of the hook as he has done numerious times to others. Thank goodness we still have a few young, brave people in Washington such as Senators Cruz and Paul that are trying to hold this country together. I hope they and others keep up the good work and not be discouraged with Obama’s apparent plan to destroy America as we used to know it. I SHOUT “Cruz for Prez.”

Alec Baldwin for New York City mayor?
Alec Baldwin for New York City Mayor? Well, if he can’t be one in real life, he at least plans to play one on TV. Deadline reported Friday that Baldwin will star in and executive produce an untitled series for HBO where he “will play Joe Byrne, a billionaire real estate developer philanthropist, and celebrated socialite/tabloid fixture, […]
The Daily Show rips into Florida gun law

The Daily Show sent one of their “correspondents” down to Florida to "investigate" Governor Rick Scott’s law banning doctors from asking their patients about gun ownership.

Kimmel on the DEA's 'stoner rabbit' fear

In one of the more ridiculous anti-pot arguments we've seen in a while, the DEA in Utah is super concerned that, if they legalize edibles for medical use, all the local bunnies will get stoned out of their minds and lose their natural instincts.

Jon Stewart mocks Netanyahu

Jon Stewart spent a good deal of time Tuesday evening bashing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial speech before Congress, saying sarcastically, “Even though Netanyahu was speaking only two weeks before the Israeli elections, he wasn’t there just to use our Congress as the most elaborate campaign commercial background ever.”

Stewart calls House GOP 'turds'

Jon Stewart was looking forward to the end of congressional gridlock now that Republicans control both houses.

White House

Calling for cooperation, Obama engages in confrontation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid appeals for bipartisanship, President Barack Obama in just three days has provoked Republicans on issues as disparate as immigration, Wall Street and the Keystone XL pipeline — a combative mix of defense and offense that underscores Washington's political realignment.

It’s on: Obama follows through and vetoes Keystone pipeline

Defying the Republican-run Congress, President Barack Obama rejected a bill Tuesday to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, wielding his veto power for only the third time in his presidency.

Biden: The middle class is ‘being killed,’ in worse shape than any time since the ’20s

Joe Biden—everyone’s favorite creeper and truth-bomb-dropper.

MSNBC Host: Obama’s terrorism summit is a ‘dog and pony show’
You know it’s bad when President Obama has even lost the support of MSNBC. MSNBC Host Andrea Mitchell basically called the White House’s Summit on “Countering Violent Extremism” a farce during her show Wednesday. “Here he has the summit, no heads of government coming, the participation has not been at a particularly high level. We’ll have […]
Obama assures ‘almost complete confidence’ there have been no NSA abuses

The president’s interview with Re/code over the weekend touched on privacy issues, with Obama insisting with “almost complete confidence” that there have been no abuses of the government’s vast surveillance program.

Congress

GOP senators look to legalize hemp
Hemp isn’t a drug, it’s an important commodity. Or at least that’s the argument from Republican Sen. Cory Gardner. Gardner (R-Colo.), along with three co-sponsors, introduced the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 Thursday. “Industrial hemp is a safe substance with many practical commercial applications,” Gardner told The Hill. “Removing it from the Controlled Substances Act is […]
Feds bring charges against Sen. Bob Menendez
CNN — The Justice Department is preparing to bring criminal corruption charges against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat, alleging he used his Senate office to push the business interests of a Democratic donor and friend in exchange for gifts. People briefed on the case say Attorney General Eric Holder has signed off on […]
DeSantis, Lee push for higher education reform
Higher education is finally getting some attention from Republicans in Congress. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R- Fla.) introduced the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity (HERO) Act Wednesday, the House companion legislation to what was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee (R- Utah). The HERO Act would allow states to create their own accreditation systems for […]
Can Congress pass NSA reform in the next 100 days?

After failing to pass NSA reform last year, Congress has less than 100 days left to try again, or allow the entire phone metadata program to sunset on June 1.

Trey Gowdy says he's going straight to Hillary

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's email controversy has opened up a new front in the House's investigation of the 2012 Benghazi attack, with Rep. Trey Gowdy saying Tuesday that his investigators would be going straight to Clinton and her team to obtain all relevant correspondence.