“I have asked Mr. Brennan if he believed that the President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and my question remains unanswered,” Paul said in a statement. “I will not allow a vote on this nomination until Mr. Brennan openly responds to the questions and concerns my colleagues and I share.
“These issues must be discussed openly so that the American people can understand what constraints exist on the government’s power to use lethal force against its citizens,” Paul continued. “Before confirming Mr. Brennan as the head of the CIA, it must be apparent that he understands and will honor the protections provided to every American by the Constitution.”
Brennan, Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, faced a contentious confirmation hearing last week, as lawmakers pressed him on the legality of using armed drone strikes against suspected terrorists, in particular American citizens.
The increased congressional scrutiny followed the leak of a Justice Department (DOJ) memo laying out the circumstances in which the administration would authorize a deadly drone strike on a U.S. citizen.
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