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Fox News' Judge Napolitano Accuses Trump of Abusing His Executive Power with Border Wall

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Fox News' Judge Napolitano Accuses Trump of Abusing His Executive Power with Border Wall

2019-09-05 22:40:50

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Judge Andrew Napolitano (Image source: Screenshot)

While Andrew Napolitano was once a solid Donald Trump supporter, he's had his differences with him as of late, calling him out where he deems necessary.

This is one of those times, with the Fox News analyst saying that the president unconstitutionally misappropriated funds to build his border wall from Defense Department money Congress did not approve. 

A former Superior Court of New Jersey judge, one that Trump at one time considered for a position on the U.S. Supreme Court, Napolitano called out Trump as a "president who spends unappropriated funds, raises taxes, defies courts, and changes immigration laws on his own."

This statement was in an op-ed Napolitano wrote for the Fox News website that was published on Thursday. 

He explained that only Congress can authorize taxes and allocate the funds that Trump is using to build his border wall.

Napolitano further explained the many ways he believes the executive branch has abused power for decades and notes it's now being taken advantage of by a president who is determined to stay in office at all costs. 

Trump had initially expected Mexico to pay for the wall, and when they refused, he wanted to get the money from Congress. They repeatedly refused, and Trump allowed the government to be shut down without a budget rather than give in.

He eventually did give in, but it was only because he'd figured out another way. He declared an emergency at the border, which allowed him to allocate money from the Defense Department to his wall project. 

"After Congress expressly declined to give him that money," Napolitano wrote, "Trump signed into law — rather than vetoed — the legislation that denied him the funds he sought and then spent the money anyway."

Napolitano also launched into Trump with regard to his tariffs war with China and other countries. 

"The question regarding presidential power has also been asked with respect to Trump's imposition of sales taxes — Trump calls them tariffs — on nearly all goods imported into the United States from China. These are taxes that only Congress can constitutionally authorize," he wrote.

He sees Trump's abuse of power as "not an academic one" and believes it came up in other administrations as well. 

But Trump's "audacious employment" of his executive powers has opened many other questions while also keeping many GOP in Congress silent.

He explained Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's vision of the government's separation of powers — Congress would write the laws. The president would enforce them. The judiciary would interpret them — as the most important aspect of the country's establishment that should be upheld 

Yet now Trump is undoing all that by accepting all that power himself.

"After years of faithless Congresses legally but unconstitutionally ceding power to the presidency, we have arrived where we are today," wrote Napolitano. 

"The Republicans who rejoice in this will weep over it when a Democrat is in the White House. No president should have unconstitutional powers."

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