During his time in the House of Representatives, Abraham Lincoln challenged President James K. Polk to justify the controversial events leading up to the Mexican–American War. Polk, seeking to seize the Mexican-held territories of California, New Mexico, and Texas, sent American soldiers into disputed territory near the Rio Grande River to provoke Mexican troops into attack. Lincoln’s spot resolutions request Polk provide Congress with all facts and terms regarding the attack, including its location. Congress chose not to investigate Lincoln’s claims against the president.
Representative Abraham Lincoln's Spot Resolutions, December 22, 1847. Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives (HR30A-B3).