California plans to sue the Trump administration over the president’s emergency declaration to fund construction of a border wall.
Gov. Gavin Newsom joined state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to decry Trump’s plan at a news conference Friday. They also hinted that a multistate lawsuit against the administration was imminent.
“Donald Trump, we’ll see you in court,” Newsom said.
“President Trump got one thing right this morning about his declaration when he said, ‘I didn’t have to do this.’ He’s right. He didn’t have to do this. In fact, he can’t do this,” said Becerra. He said the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the powers to control how federal dollars are spent, not the president.
Trump’s emergency declaration came after Congress passed a spending bill that included only $1.375 billion for border security, short of the $5.7 billion the president requested.
During Trump’s announcement Friday, he said the declaration was needed “because of an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs.” Becerra has previously threatened litigation if Trump declared an emergency.
“The idea of declaring a nonexistent state of emergency on the border … to pay for the wall is not only immoral, it is illegal,” he said last week, after delivering the Spanish-language Democratic response to Trump’s State of the Union address.
During Friday morning’s news conference, Becerra said he believes the president knows that there is no national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border. “He knows he will lose in court, and he is hoping to use the U.S. Supreme Court as a tool in his game to fulfill a campaign promise,” Becerra said, referring to the president’s repeated promises to build a border wall.
“The consequences of that are harm: harm to Californians, harm to all Americans,” Becerra added.
Newsom said that California wants to work with the Trump administration to address the “legitimate crisis with drugs” in this country. “I don’t want to be a sparring partner with President Trump. We want to be a working partner,” Newsom said. “But he makes it all but impossible when he plays these games, and manufactures a crisis, and creates the conditions where we have no other choice but to sue the administration.”
Also on Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California released a statement with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer calling the declaration “unlawful.”