A group of former US national security officials are set to release a statement arguing there is no justification for US President Donald Trump to use a national emergency declaration to fund a wall along the US-Mexico border. The statement, which was reviewed by The Associated Press, has 58 signatures from prominent former officials, including former Secretaries of State Madeline Albright and John Kerry, former Defense Secretaries Chuck Hagel and Leon Panetta and former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. "There is no factual basis for the declaration of a national emergency," the statement reads. It argues that border crossings are near a 40-year low and that there is no terrorist emergency at the border. The president maintains that a wall is needed to stem irregular immigration and the flow of illicit drugs into the country.
Democrats and rights groups have vowed to fight US President Donald Trump's emergency declaration along the southern border, saying it's an unconstitutional attempt to fund a wall without approval from Congress. A key committee in the US House of Representatives announced on Friday it was launching an immediate investigation into President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration, saying the move to fund his promised wall at the US-Mexico border raised constitutional and statutory issues. In a letter to Trump, Democrats who control the House Judiciary Committee asked the Republican president to make available relevant White House and Justice Department officials. They also requested legal documents on the decision that led to the declaration, setting a deadline of next Friday. "We believe your declaration of an emergency shows a reckless disregard for the separation of powers and your own responsibilities under our constitutional system," said the letter signed by committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and other top Democrats on the panel.
WASHINGTON - Defiant in the wake of a stinging budget defeat, President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border, moving to secure more money for his long-promised wall by exercising a broad interpretation of his presidential powers that is certain to draw stiff legal challenges. In his emergency proclamation, Trump painted a dark picture of the border as "a major entry point for criminals, gang members, and illicit narcotics" and one that threatens "core national security interests." Overall, though, illegal border crossings are down from a high of 1.6 million in 2000. His declaration instantly transformed a contentious policy fight into a foundational dispute over the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution, spurring talk of a congressional vote to block Trump and ensuring that the president and Democrats will continue fighting over the border wall in Congress, the courts and on the campaign trail. It triggered outrage from Democrats, unease among some Republicans and flew in the face of years of GOP complaints that President Barack Obama had over-reached in his use of executive authority.
The Trump 2020 campaign is highlighting examples of the president keeping his promises, advisory board member Marc Lotter says. The attorneys general of California, New York, and 14 other states on Monday filed a lawsuit in the Ninth Circuit against the White House's recent national emergency declaration over border security, claiming President Trump has "veered the country toward a constitutional crisis of his own making." President Trump sarcastically had predicted the lawsuit last week. He's slammed the Ninth Circuit multiple times as "disgraceful" and politically biased. The litigation, brought before a federal trial court in the Northern District of California, seeks an injunction to prevent Trump from shifting billions of dollars from military construction to the border without explicit congressional approval.
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON/WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - Democratic lawmakers, states and others mulling legal challenges to U.S. President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration to obtain funds to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall face an uphill and probably losing battle in a showdown likely to be decided by the conservative-majority Supreme Court, legal experts said. After being rebuffed by Congress in his request for $5.7 billion to help build the wall that was a signature 2016 campaign promise, Trump on Friday invoked emergency powers given to the president under a 1976 law. The move, according to the White House, enables Trump to bypass lawmakers and redirect money already appropriated by Congress for other purposes and use it for wall construction. Peter Shane, a professor at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law, said challenges to the emergency declaration could end up as a replay of the legal battle against Trump's travel ban targeting people from several Muslim-majority nations. The Supreme Court last year upheld the travel ban after lower courts had ruled against Trump, with the justices giving the president deference on immigration and national security issues.