Rep. Adam Smith, the new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said on Wednesday that if Donald Trump declares an emergency and takes money from the defense budget to fund the wall, he’ll see him in court.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the powerful Democrat repeated what many Democrats have said in recent days – that they would immediately sue Trump if he declares a fake national emergency that allows him to take money from the military to pay for his vanity project on the southern border.
“I think it would clearly be an illegal act and we’d sue,” Rep Smith said. “On the armed services committee, would advance legislation to block him from doing it.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) January 10, 2019
Rep. Smith said:
One, we would sue. A lot of different people would be involved in that because if you look at the law that he’s referencing – it’s a 1976 law. I don’t think this falls under the heading of a national emergency as defined in that law. I think it would clearly be an illegal act and we’d sue. And second, on the armed services committee, would advance legislation to block him from doing it. Now, obviously, the problem with that is whatever we passed would have to get through the Senate and be signed by the president. So it would really probably play out through the courts.
Not even Republicans support the idea
It’s not just Democrats who oppose the idea of Trump declaring an emergency to build his wall. Even Republicans recognize that it would be a disastrous strategy.
In fact, Rep. Smith’s counterpart on the armed services committee, GOP Rep. Mac Thornberry, said that building the border wall “is not a responsibility of the Department of Defense.”
Ultimately, Donald Trump has boxed himself in. If he drags this shutdown on further, as he indicates he plans to, the American people will continue to suffer and hold him increasingly accountable.
If Trump declares a national emergency as a way to take defense department funds to pay for the wall and reopen the government, he’ll face immediate legal and political backlash.