But in the meantime she has no business telling the Joint Chiefs not to follow the President’s orders. Gen. Milley hardly needs the lecture, as he has been dealing with Mr. Trump for 15 months and isn’t about to indulge an unlawful order, much less an effort to launch nuclear weapons.
Mrs. Pelosi’s call to Gen. Milley is itself a violation of the separation of powers by seeking to inject herself into an executive-branch military decision. She can offer advice all she wants, but this call at this time has the sound of an order. It might even be construed by some as its own little coup—conniving with the military to relieve of command the person who remains the elected President.
What if an adversary leaps on the news and decides this is the moment to stage some military action when the U.S. is consumed with internal conflict? Does Gen. Milley now have to consult with the Speaker before he acts in America’s defense? How anyone thinks her intervention would restore good constitutional order to government or some modicum of sanity to politics is a mystery.