National emergency likely to be blocked by courts, DOJ tells White House: reports

Credit: Evan Vucci

Credit: Evan Vucci

The Justice Department has warned White House officials that the national emergency President Donald Trump is expected to declare Friday to secure funding for his promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border is likely to be blocked by the courts, according to multiple reports.

Officials told the White House that the declaration is "nearly certain to be blocked" on at least a temporary basis, ABC News reported. An unidentified senior White House official told the news network that administration officials still expect Trump would ultimately win the case.

Officials with the White House counsel's office have told Trump that a national emergency declaration would be a "high litigation risk," an unidentified source told The Washington Post. Several lawmakers echoed that statement Thursday.

"I wish he wouldn't have done it," said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, according to Politico. "If (Trump) figures that Congress didn't do enough and he's got to do it, then I imagine we'll find out whether he's got the authority to do it by the courts."

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told Politico she also believed the declaration would face a court challenge.

“It’s a mistake on the president’s part,” she said. “It undermines the role of Congress and the appropriations process.”

The New York Times reported that under the National Emergencies Act, lawmakers can enact a "joint resolution of termination to end the emergency status if they believe the president is acting irresponsibly or the threat has dissipated." Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, told the newspaper he was prepared to introduce such a resolution should Trump declare the emergency.

White House officials announced Thursday that Trump planned to declare a national emergency after lawmakers passed a bipartisan spending deal that funded only a portion of the $5.7 billion he’d requested to build the wall. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump planned to sign the funding bill.

The president is scheduled at 10 a.m. Friday to deliver remarks about the southern border from the Rose Garden.

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