[Ed. – Where would we be without the helpful reminders of sites like Slate?]
As senators try President Donald Trump for impeachment and some of them call for placing limits on his ability to wage war against Iran, it is worth recalling that, early on in his term, lawmakers of both parties raised fearful concerns about Trump’s war powers more broadly — specifically whether he should have the power to start a nuclear war all on his own.
On Oct. 30, 2017, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on whether the president needed new congressional authorization to use military force against terrorists around the world. When his turn came to ask questions, Democratic Sen. Edward Markey asked the witnesses whether Trump could launch a nuclear first strike without consulting anyone from Congress.
Markey, a longtime advocate of nuclear arms treaties, knew the answer before asking the question, but some of the senators were surprised.