Democrats ask Biden to give up sole authority to launch nuclear strikes


Dozens of Democratic lawmakers ask Joe Biden to give up president’s sole authority to launch nuclear weapons weeks after Nancy Pelosi warned ‘unhinged’ Donald Trump could use them

  • Nearly three dozen Democratic lawmakers have signed on to a letter that asks President Joe Biden to give up his sole authority to launch a nuclear strike 
  • The letter notes that past presidents have ‘exhibited behavior that caused other officials to express concern about the president’s judgment’ 
  • Notably, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed concerns about an ‘unhinged president’ about former President Donald Trump in the aftermath of January 6 

Nearly three dozen Democratic lawmakers have signed on to a letter that asks President Joe Biden to give up his sole authority to launch a nuclear strike. 

‘Vesting one person with this authority entails real risks,’ reads the letter, according to Politico and Fox News, which was written by California Democratic Rep. Jimmy Panetta. ‘Past presidents have threatened to attack other countries with nuclear weapons or exhibited behavior that caused other officials to express concern about the president’s judgment.’  

One such president, was former President Donald Trump, whose mental state concerned lawmakers especially in the wake of the January 6 insurrection, which happened after weeks of Trump refusing to concede he lost the election to Biden. 

Nearly three dozen Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to give up his sole authority to launch a nuclear strike, stemming from concerns lawmakers had about President Donald Trump during the last administration 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Former President Donald Trump

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (left) said she had called the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the insurrection’s aftermath to talk about what could be done to prevent an ‘unhinged president,’ a reference to President Donald Trump (right) from launching nukes unilaterally

The letter, which was obtained by Politico, and reported on by Fox News, was written by California Democratic Rep. Jimmy Panetta (pictured) who got nearly three dozen other Democratic lawmakers to sign on

The letter, which was obtained by Politico, and reported on by Fox News, was written by California Democratic Rep. Jimmy Panetta (pictured) who got nearly three dozen other Democratic lawmakers to sign on 

Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for inciting that insurrection, however was acquitted earlier this month by the Senate, in which two-thirds of the body would have had to vote for conviction. 

On January 8, two days after the MAGA attack, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had talked to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, about preventing an ‘unhinged president’ from launching a nuclear strike.  

She said she spoke to Milley ‘to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.’

‘The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous,’ the House speaker warned. 

U.S. presidents are able to unilaterally order a military strike and are followed by what’s called the ‘nuclear football,’ which contain the relevant codes.   

‘While any president would presumably consult with advisors before ordering a nuclear attack, there is no requirement to do so. The military is obligated to carry out the order if they assess it is legal under the laws of war. Under the current posture of U.S. nuclear forces, that attack would happen in minutes,’ the letter warned. 

The letter offers several alternatives, including that the president obtain permission from other members in the line of succession such as the vice president and the House speaker. 

‘Neither of whom can be removed by the president if they disagree … to concur with a launch order,’ the letter said.   

The vice president is also accompanied by a nuclear football when she or he travels. 

During Trump’s impeachment trial, the Democratic managers showed footage of then Vice President Mike Pence, trailed by his football, only getting to safety in the nick of time.  

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