In the face of several lawsuits challenging Trump's authority to declare a national emergency to reallocate billions of dollars to a border wall, the White House plans to draw from the Defense Department's drug interdiction program and treasury department's asset forfeiture funds before moving
Unlike the first two pots of money, the latter can only be accessed through a national emergency declaration, which is now the focus of several lawsuits. (19659002) The White House has not immediately responded to the request of CNN, but it has been banned from accessing those funds, the White House is bracing for the possibility that a federal court could issue an injunction on accessing military construction funds as a result of lawsuits. for comment
While past presidents have declared national emergencies, they have largely been over non-controversial issues and not as a result of the Congressional rejection of President's request for specific funds. on Tuesday he told reporters he believes he is on a solid legal footing as he responded to the news of the lawsuits being filed
"I think we will do very well, we have the absolute right to do that," said Trump. "We need strong borders. We have to stop drugs and criminals and human trafficking and we will stop all those things that a strong wall will stop."
He added that his administration is already "working with the Army Corps of Engineers "as he moves forward with plans to build additional barriers on the southern border
Funds from the Treasury Department and Defense Department would be moved to the Army Corps of Engineers to pay for the wall construction, a separate source familiar
White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on Friday that it plans to access $ 2.5 billion from the Pentagon's drug interdiction program, some $ 600 million from Treasury's asset forfeiture fund and another $ 3.6 billion from military construction projects.
That's in addition to the Congress appropriating $ 1
A senior White House official said White House counsel Pat Cipillone will consult with the Justice Department on how to respond to the lawsuits, but the Justice Department will take the lead in legal response. The White House anticipated the lawsuits to Trump's emergency declaration and are bracing for more, according to the official