Off the Record

Greta: Constitutional refresher for Pres. Obama: You don't have the power to go it alone on Iran

'Off the Record,' 3/4/15: A Constitutional refresher for Obama: Presidents are not kings, not dictators and he has no power to make a deal with Iran by himself

 

By Greta Van Susteren

Let's all go "Off the Record" for a minute. President Obama and I both have this common: We both went to it and taught at law school. He studied the same Constitution I did -- ours, the United States. So tonight, a Constitutional law refresher for all of us, including and mostly for, President Obama. Here it is.

Article 2, Section it 2, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution includes the treaty clause, which empowers the president to propose and negotiate agreements between the United States and other nations which becomes treaties after -- yes, after -- the advice and consent of a super majority of the U.S. Senate. Now, that means the president has no power to make a deal solely with Iran. Solely alone. He can't do that.

Presidents are not kings. They are not dictators and under our Constitution, the President of the United States has broad powers, but by no means absolute powers. So why does the White House not want congress to vote on a deal with Iran? Here is Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Ultimately, we can't put in place an additional hurdle for that agreement to overcome here at the 11th hour.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Hurdle? That clause is not a hurdle. Josh Earnest may think it's trivial. I don't. It's the Constitution. To be respected and adhered to. Any deal with Iran, good, bad or indifferent, impacts the world and impacts generations, so none of that slippery stuff about the president going alone and any deal between the United States and Iran must go to the United States Senate for advice and consent.

That is what the Constitution says. And if the president doesn't believe me, he should look it up, Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2. That's my "Off the Record" comment tonight.