Did you know Donald Trump has the authority to shut down communications systems like the Internet and freeze your bank account if he personally deems you a threat? Well, you don’t have to worry. Thankfully, he’s not vindictive.
All he has to do is declare a national emergency under the National Emergencies Act. According to an op-ed in The New York Times by Elizabeth Goitein, the co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, this statute authorizes the president to declare a national emergency, which in turn gives him access to special powers set forth in more than 100 other provisions. Goitein rightly points out that some of these powers seem more suited to a dictatorship than a democracy.
Asking if Donald Trump would abuse his emergency powers is a rhetorical question. He’s already done so. We all remember one year ago when the president declared a fake national emergency to build his useless border wall by raiding Pentagon funds. Trump essentially stole money from 127 military construction projects, including ones for weapons maintenance shops and cyberoperations facilities.
Interestingly, Trump has used these confiscated funds to already build 101 miles of new border wall. The is the biggest waste of money since Trump’s tax cut for billionaires that ballooned our deficit to a trillion dollars.
The President has no respect for the rule of law. Federal judges in three cases have declared the president’s “emergency” effort to pay for the wall illegal. Congress twice voted to end the wall “emergency.” Yet, the politically motivated bogus emergency declaration remains in effect.
That’s because to end an emergency, you need a veto-proof supermajority – which means that we have to depend on Senators like Susan Collins, Moscow Mitch and Lindsey Graham do the right thing and save the Republic. Oh, God we’re fucked.
The Times op-ed goes on to say: Last July, the Senate Homeland Security Committee voted 12-2 to pass the Article One Act, introduced by Mike Lee, Republican of Utah. Under this bill, presidentially declared emergencies would generally terminate after 30 days unless Congress voted to approve them.
Since quisling senators let Trump off the hook with impeachment, the president has been on an abuse of power binge. He’s got his collaborating Attorney William Barr giving him near-dictator-like power to do what he wants.
Congress must do what it can to pass this legislation limiting Trump’s powers. Because if they don’t act now, we are not going to be able to stop our real national emergency: The conspiracy of Donald Trump and William Barr to dismantle the rule of law, shred the United States Constitution and grossly abuse their power.