Warren questions timing of Soleimani killing as Trump impeachment trial nears
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that she thinks it's fair to question the timing of President Trump ordering the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani so close to his impeachment trial.
"I think the question that we ought to focus on is why now? Why not a month ago, why not a month from now? And the answer from the administration seems to be that they can't keep their story straight on this. They pointed in all different directions. And you know, the last time that we watched them do this was the summer over Ukraine. ... And of course, what emerged then is this was Donald Trump just trying to advance Donald Trump's own political agenda. Not the agenda of the United States of America. So what happens right now? Next week, the president of the United States could be facing an impeachment trial in the Senate. We know he's deeply upset about that. I think that people are reasonably asking, why this moment?"— Elizabeth Warren
Why it matters: An allegation that Trump had domestic political motivations for ordering the killing of a top Iranian official, which has severely escalated tensions with Iran and threatens to destabilize the entire region, would be a serious one.
- Other 2020 candidates and top Democrats have questioned Trump's strategic thinking on the Soleimani operation, but none have tied it explicitly to impeachment.
The state of play: As Iranian officials warn of retaliation, congressional Democrats are demanding briefings on the intelligence that led to the operation and calling on the Trump administration to seek authorization from Congress before entering a war.
- Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi still has not signaled when she will send the approved articles of impeachment to the Senate, where Democrats argue Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will not hold a fair trial.
- Warren would serve as a juror in the Senate trial, but has already said that she would vote to convict Trump based on the current evidence — earning pushback even from within her own party.