The Hill 
September 9, 2013
The White House insisted Monday that it was legally able to launch a strike on Syria without congressional approval even as it intensified its courting of lawmakers to support military action.
White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler told the New York Times that a strike would be lawful under both domestic and international law. She told the paper that the president could strike because of the “important national interests” surrounding the use of chemical weapons, even without Congress or United Nations approval.
Ruemmler contended that while the Syria situation “may not fit under a traditionally recognized legal basis under international law,” it would nevertheless be “justified and legitimate.”
“The president believed that it was important to enhance the legitimacy of any action that would be taken by the executive,” Ruemmler added, “to seek Congressional approval of that action and have it be seen, again as a matter of legitimacy both domestically and internationally, that there was a unified American response to the horrendous violation of the international norm against chemical weapons use.”
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