But the document, which is entirely classified, drew scathing criticism from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who said in a statement that the notification “raises more questions than it answers.”
“This document prompts serious and urgent questions about the timing, manner and justification of the Administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran,” Pelosi said. “The highly unusual decision to classify this document in its entirety compounds our many concerns, and suggests that the Congress and the American people are being left in the dark about our national security.”
She again demanded that the administration brief lawmakers about the strike and what responses Trump is considering.
Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, was killed early Friday in Baghdad by a U.S. drone strike. The Trump administration has said it will send thousands of additional troops to the Middle East.
The Democratic aide and the other official spoke on the condition of anonymity ahead of the White House’s formal notification to Congress, where Soleimani’s death has ignited a fresh debate over the president’s war powers and Congress’s role in authorizing new military action abroad.
The formal notification received at the Capitol on Saturday is completely classified, according to the senior Democratic aide, and it is unclear whether the administration will issue a nonclassified version that can be publicized. The aide said sending a fully classified report when the government has already acknowledged the strike was unusual, and called the notification on the Soleimani strike “brief and insufficient.”
In remarks Friday at his resort in Palm Beach, Fla., Trump said the Iranian commander was “plotting imminent and sinister attacks” on American personnel abroad.
“Soleimani has been perpetrating acts of terror to destabilize the Middle East for the last 20 years,” Trump said. “What the United States did … should have been done long ago. A lot of lives would have been saved.”