Liza Goitein, an “expert” at the Brennan Center for Justice, saidon Friday that President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency could allow him to take money from Americans’ bank accounts, shutter radio stations, and unleash biological agents.
The Brennan Center is named for the late liberal Supreme Court Justice William Brennan and is funded by George Soros-allied groups and other leftist organizations like the Schumann Media Center and the Joyce Foundation.
Previous presidents have issued 58 national emergencies since 1979. Thirty-one of those are still in effect.
This is Trump’s fourth national emergency declaration. President Bill Clinton issued the most national emergencies — 17 in all – followed by George W. Bush with 13 and Barack Obama, who issued 12.
“What are the risks of the executive branch having this kind of power?” Audie Cornish, a host at taxpayer-funded National Public Radio (NPR), asked Goitein in an interview aired on All Things Considered.
“The risks are that these laws are — some of them — are incredibly potent in terms of what they allow,” Goitein said. “In this case, we’re talking about moving money within the Department of Justice to do something that Congress really doesn’t want the president to do.”
“That’s bad enough,” Goitein said. “But there are powers here that would allow the president to shut down communications facilities, radio stations, to freeze Americans’ bank accounts and seize their assets.”
“There are powers that allow the president, believe it or not, to suspend the prohibition on government testing of chemical weapons and biological agents on unwitting human subjects,” Goitein said. “So it’s really extraordinary what some of these powers would allow.”
“And if it’s the case that the president can simply make up an emergency anytime he wants in order to gain access to those powers, then we’re in real trouble,” Goitein said.