War Powers

Trump Administration Releases Overdue War Powers Report in Response to Lawsuit

By Scott R. Anderson, Benjamin Wittes
Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 9:29 PM

On Oct. 20, 2020, the Trump administration publicly released the unclassified portion of a long-overdue report on the legal and policy frameworks for the use of military force. This report was originally due for release to both Congress and the public on Mar. 1 pursuant to 50 U.S.C. 1549. The Trump administration has provided no explanation as to why it failed to meet this statutorily required deadline. The Trump administration also posted the text of a cover letter dated Oct. 16 on the White House website indicating that both the unclassified report and a classified annex had been transmitted to Congress.

The release of this report was the result of a lawsuit by Lawfare editors Benjamin Wittes and Scott R. Anderson and the organization Protect Democracy, with representation from Democracy Forward. A copy of the unclassified report is available here and below.