Holder refuses to rule out drone strike scenario on US soil
Reaction from Sen. Charles Grassley
- Duration 6:06
- Date Mar 6, 2013
Reaction from Sen. Charles Grassley
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Breaking news now in a stunning exchange -- a senate hearing just a short time ago.
Texas senator Ted Cruz grilling the attorney general Eric Holder.
This all relates to why Rand Paul is filibustering right now it to some extent as well that -- solve this issue about drone strikes.
And that's a strong stress on our enemies overseas but struck drone strikes on American citizens.
Here on American soil perpetrated by our own government.
So Ted Cruz a senator.
Talks to mr.
holder about this and comes down -- mr.
holder after the attorney general suggested that President Obama.
Can act potentially hypothetically.
As judge jury and indeed executioner.
And order a deadly drone strike against an American citizen right here inside of the United States.
Senator Chris pushed him on that and here's the attorney general's response.
Does the constitution.
Allow a US citizen on US soil who doesn't pose an imminent threat.
To be killed by the US government.
I do not believe that again you have to if you look at all of the facts on the facts that you give -- -- -- hypothetical.
I would not think that in that situation the use of a -- or lethal force would be appropriate because.
I get a little hold I have I have to tell you I find it remarkable.
That in that hypothetical which is deliberately very simple.
You -- unable to give a simple one word one syllable answer now.
-- now Iowa Republican senator Charles Grassley who's the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Sir thank you for being here so now we see Ted Cruz.
We saw -- Rand Paul who is a senator Rick Ellis is now filibustering.
Confirmation -- CIA director because John Brennan also refused categorically deny the possibility of using drones.
And killing Americans on US soil and and you yourself are all three and and you were just -- a handful of the folks you're upset about attorney general's position.
On this tell us why.
Well first all goes back several months.
At that same time when chairman Leahy and I -- letter.
For the justification.
For the use -- -- -- to kill American citizens overseas.
Now of course.
That the justification was given at that time you could we still don't have -- documents or the legal basis for we're still trying to get that.
But now they've they've assumed that you could probably do that within the United States so you can -- without a trial.
Without an arrest without any charges -- just besides personal marine rather than this person should be executed by -- Now did you heard senator crews say that he was -- introduced a bill.
That would does denies that power to the president so that I followed up and ask.
General holder if he thought that that bill would be unconstitutional.
And he said yes under the Second Amendment.
Per second article of the constitution.
That would be unconstitutional.
In his judgment.
So what I find really surprising here is we have.
-- -- -- different than when he was Senator Obama and they found fault with boyish exercising what -- called.
The -- unitary.
Executive theory that the president was kind of all powerful.
-- they were finding very much -- -- that -- at that particular time.
And now they're assuming the same.
Power that they accused.
Boy showed not having the constitutional authority to do it.
I don't let me let me play devil's advocate for on this for a minute because it in in attorney general holder's response to senator Paul.
He he said look the question is entirely hypothetical.
I suppose it's possible to imagine an extraordinary circumstance where would be necessary and appropriate to do this on US soil to a US citizen.
But he says he says for example.
The president could conceivably have no choice but to do it if necessary to protect the homeland in circumstances of a catastrophic attack.
Like the ones -- -- Pearl Harbor or on 9/11 2001 what about that senator Grassley what do we had a situation like we saw on 9/11 where.
You know that what -- the passengers on board that that fourth aircraft hadn't brought that plane down in -- -- Shanksville Pennsylvania.
And there there'd -- talk about whether we were prepared to shoot that plane down to save.
Countless other lives and it would we have had a jury trial before we did that would not our president have had the authority to make that call.
Without answer your question because there -- talk one answer but I can tell you here again.
You have general holder taking two sides' different sides on the same issue you know when bush may I.
And it did -- I've forgive -- for -- Andretti but I get you made the hypocrisy point but I I want to get to the substance because I see how it's it's easy to get outraged at the thought of you know senator Paula saying -- babysit their eaten your duty to be sitting there in your dinner you -- get thrown to the F.
And I laughed because that's a little extreme.
But Eric -- policies we talking about it in it truly catastrophic situation do we really want by the commander in -- part.
I think the answer your question is are very basic one that you would learn.
In any political science class were a society based upon the rule -- And a constitution is is a very basic.
Document and the constitution has to be followed and at this point I don't see where the president -- -- authority to be executioner.
For American citizens on American soil.
I I would look at that differently American citizen that's exercising.
With -- with a jurisdiction are people that wanted to kill.
Entirely different -- I would look at somebody that was an American citizen.
In this country.
If you were dealing with a foreign.
-- nations are foreign.
Operation that want to kill Americans -- be a different story.
Now that we have rights we have constitutional -- here in this country and you and many others are making the point that you believe they've they could be violated here senator thanks so much for being here.