It took Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) 12 hours and 52 minutes to ask a question that was deeply important to him. It took the Obama administration a few sentences to answer it.
Attorney General Eric Holder, no doubt made aware of yesterday’s spectacle on the Senate floor, wrote to the Kentucky Republican earlier today.
Dear Senator Paul:
It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: “Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?” The answer to that question is no.
Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Incidentally, this isn’t an excerpt from Holder’s letter; it’s the entirety of Holder’s letter.
In addition to Holder sending the one-paragraph correspondence to Paul earlier, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney read it aloud to reporters at his daily briefing.
The Republican senator, after receiving the letter, told CNN that he’s now satisfied enough to allow the chamber to vote on John Brennan’s CIA nomination. “I’m quite happy with the answer and I’m disappointed it took a month and a half and a root canal to get it,” Paul said.
Republican support for the “Stand with Rand” filibuster was broad, superficial, and apparently lacking in unanimity.