Elder Patriot – Attorney General William Barr stood behind President Trump in the Oval Office as the president announced why he was vetoing the joint attempt by the House and Senate to deny his declaration of a national emergency along the southern border.
When Trump finished his comments he offered an opportunity to speak for themselves to those assembled behind him. This included Homeland Security Secretary Kiersten Neilson, a number of sheriffs, and Angel moms… and Attorney General William Barr.
Barr not only outlined the legal foundation underpinning President Trump’s authority to declare a national emergency, he also framed it in a politically undeniable way.
Burundi? Sierra Leone? Where was Congressional opposition to those “emergencies.”
He also indicated his intention to vigorously defend this national emergency declaration.
Keep in mind that Barr previously served as the United States Attorney General from 1991-1993 so he knows the history of what he’s talking about:
Mr. President, your declaration of an emergency on the southern border was clearly authorized under the law and consistent with past precedent.
As you said, the National Emergencies Act directly authorizes the President, and gives broad discretionary authority to the President, to identify and respond to emergent circumstances that require a decisive response.
And the humanitarian and security crisis we have on the border right now is exactly the kind of emergency that Presidents are permitted to address under the National Emergencies Act.
As you alluded to yourself, in the past 40 years, there have been 59 emergencies declared. And many of these have dealt with political conditions in countries like Burundi, Sierra Leone, Belarus. The crisis that we’re dealing with today is right on our doorstep, and it presents a real clear and present danger to the American people.
So what you’ve done from a legal standpoint is solidly grounded in law. And from the standpoint of protecting the American people, it’s imperative.