Trump’s National Emergency Will Likely Be Blocked, DOJ Warns
The U.S. Department of Justice has reached out to warn the Trump Administration that Donald Trump’s National Emergency, called to procure funding for a wall on the southern border of the United States, will likely be blocked by courts. On Friday, Trump declared his emergency, saying it would provide up to $8.1 billion for his border wall, including over $3 billion reallocated from Department of Defense projects. The declaration was greeted with resistance, and could be tied up in courts for a lengthy period of time.
Trump’s full press conference can be viewed below.
President Trump Speaks on the National Security & Humanitarian Crisis on Our Southern Border https://t.co/FqdfFORbv5
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 15, 2019
A White House Fact Sheet was also released regarding the recent appropriations bill and his further plans, and specifically included details about how he justifies his National Emergency declaration, and what he intends to do with it.
Some of the major points:
- Trump is declaring a national emergency and taking other executive action.
- The funds he’s transferring include up to $2.5 billion from the Department of Defense’s Counter-drug efforts and up to $3.6 billion from the Department of Defense’s construction projects.
However, his efforts will face challenges — ABC reports that the Department of Justice has already warned Trump of this.
In his press conference, Trump noted that he expects to be sued, saying that he expects he might “get a bad ruling” both initially and on appeal, but expects “a fair shake” in the Supreme Court. He expressed high expectations, saying that a National Emergency is probably “one of the easiest ones to win,” and referred repeatedly to “an invasion.”
Trump also used the press conference to claim that political opponents who say most drugs come through ports of entry are lying. Notably, the assertion that drugs are primarily coming through ports of entry actually comes from the Drug Enforcement Administration. He further admitted that efforts so far have been restricted to renovation, contradicting his own previous claims that new sections were being built already.
The Fake News Media keeps saying we haven’t built any NEW WALL. Below is a section just completed on the Border. Anti-climbing feature included. Very high, strong and beautiful! Also, many miles already renovated and in service! pic.twitter.com/UAAGXl5Byr
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2019
However, perhaps the most damaging thing Trump said, as far as his own stated goals, was that he “didn’t need to” declare a state of emergency. Instead, he said, he “could have built the wall over a longer time” but “wanted to do it much faster” — a statement that will likely be used against him in court, and is already being used in the public discourse, as evidence that there is no actual emergency.
“I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather to do it much faster.” —President @realDonaldTrump
Mr. President, how can this possibly be an national emergency if you’re saying you don’t need to do it?
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 15, 2019
Trump’s own words have been used against him in courts before, such as, like the Washington Post reports, on his travel ban executive order — Federal Judges had to consider his many public statements, and those of his advisors, referring to a ‘Muslim ban,’ which supported the idea that the ban was religious discrimination. In this case too, opponents of the executive action are expected to point out that Trump himself has said that he could have used other methods and that he put off declaring an emergency long after floating the idea, to support the view that there is not an actual emergent situation to address.