Lord Dampnut is apparently going to hold a “Fireside Chat” later tonight with the country regarding his wall and why he has chosen to throw such a pee-pants tantrum over the $5 billion in funding that he wants for it. Which would only cover a portion of the cost of a wall along the almost 2,000 mile border with Mexico, he insisted hundreds of times Mexico would pay for, and has claimed is already being built.
Thus why he might feel like he needs to clarify a few things…
It has been suggested by a number of people and outlets (and he himself has hinted at it) that Trump intends to declare a state of emergency at the southern border and deploy the military to build the wall. It’s not clear if that means the entire wall, or just what the $5 billion would cover. Either way, here it comes; an authoritarian declaring a state of emergency in order to bypass the legislature. That always turns awesome.
Declaring a state of emergency grants the president pretty extraordinary powers. It gives the president the authority to suspend habeas corpus and arrest dissidents without charges during an invasion or rebellion. It also allows him to sidestep the Posse Comitatus Act, which prevents the routine use of military force on American soil.
The Congressional Research Service issued a 2007 outline of powers retained by the president should be declare a national emergency:
“Under the powers delegated by such statutes, the president may seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and, in a variety of ways, control the lives of United States citizens.”
It doesn’t take a lot to imagine Trump abusing such powers.
At this point this is just speculation and it’s entirely possible that this will just be more faux tough-guy posturing in an attempt to take control of the narrative and convince Americans to blame the Democrats and revive his sinking approval ratings. On the other hand, this might just be the power grab that he and his Red Hat minions have been waiting for.
This is especially true given that Robert Mueller is expected to release his report in the near future (although who really knows), and the incoming investigations that a House or Representatives now controlled by the Democratic Party.
So strap in kiddos, things might get bumpy.