WASHINGTON – Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sent a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis today asking for details on the United States’ involvement in the Saudi’s war in Yemen, and to do so before U.S. involvement in those hostilities intensifies. The letter expresses concern that Congress’s attempt to play their proper Constitutional oversight role may be impeded by Pentagon officials withholding information, leading to a violation of the War Powers Act of 1973.
The letter reads, in part:
“We call on you to immediately disclose the full extent of the U.S. military role in the Saudi-led war against Yemen’s Houthis, including the use of special operations forces; disclose any role that the Pentagon is currently performing, has been asked to perform, or is considering performing regarding an attack on the port of Hodeida; and issue a public declaration opposing this impending assault and restating the Administration’s position that Saudi Arabia and other parties to the conflict should accept an immediate ceasefire and move toward a political settlement to resolve the conflict.”
Today’s letter follows a previous letter sent by Sens. Lee, Sanders, and Chris Murphy (D-CT) on May 17, 2018 asking for details on U.S. involvement in Yemen. The letter went unanswered; this, combined with the continued progression toward increased hostilities in the region prompted the need for this additional letter. A similar letter was sent by members of the US House of Representatives earlier this week on June 11th.
An online version of this release and full text of both Senate letters can be found here.