RNA - In a column for the Tennessean newspaper, Jon DiCicco, an associate professor of political science and international relations at Middle Tennessee State University, wrote Thursday that nothing like a military confrontation would help Trump dodge constant pressure by Democrats to expose his wrongdoings.
Calling it a "convenient one-two punch," DiCicco argued that a new conflict in the Persian Gulf region means Trump and his hawkish aides -- led by National Security Adviser John Bolton -- would be able to divert attention from the ongoing battle with Democrats, who are demanding documents.
Congressional Democrats have started a subpoena showdown against Trump in a bid to obtain documents that may end up indicting him on serious charges, including his alleged collusion with Russia as well as possible tax fraud.
While Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no apparent collusion in his investigation, Democrats have been using his report to go after Trump for possible obstruction of justice, an impeachable crime.
Trump at first tried to play down the subpoena showdown by announcing that he would take the battle to court. However, it seems now the Trump administration is sensing the danger and starting to come up with a bigger plan that could overshadow the ongoing row.
That's where Iran enters the image.
Over the past days, American hawks have been beating the drums of war and Trump has cheered them on by sending a host of mixed signals to make sure the issue can be milked as long as possible in order to steal the headlines back at home.
Nearly a year after kicking off a maximum pressure campaign against Tehran by pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal and imposing harsh sanctions against Tehran, the Trump administration is now using a mysterious sabotage attack on several ships off the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to keep war more than just a possibility.
But Congress is not sitting idly by.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that the U.S. must avoid war with Iran, and she declared the White House has “no business” moving toward a Middle East confrontation without approval from Congress.
“We have to avoid any war with Iran,” Pelosi told her colleagues during a private meeting of the Democratic caucus.
Sen. Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also warned Wednesday that the White House "must seek approval" from Congress as the legislative body has yet to authorize any such acts against Iran.
Some Democrats are worried that the Republican head of state is being fed cooked intelligence to launch a war, in the same way former President George W. Bush was duped into invading Iraq in 2003 to find the country's non-existent weapons of mass destruction.
In an attempt to placate the concerns, Trump's intelligence officials held a closed-door briefing for both Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress as well as the head of intelligence and foreign relations committees in both chambers.
The participants in the meeting refused to let out any of its details. A second meeting was scheduled for Tuesday.