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In Veto, Trump Shows His True Authoritarian Colors

Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

Note: President Donald Trump today vetoed legislation passed by both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives designed to block his Feb. 15 declaration of a national emergency. Public Citizen filed the first lawsuit challenging Trump’s emergency declaration. Public Citizen helped generate thousands of calls to members of Congress from citizens opposing the emergency declaration and organized people around the country to deliver poster-sized Constitutions to district offices of their U.S. senators.

The autocratic Donald Trump shows his true colors yet again.

But Trump’s authoritarian overreach has backfired. Ongoing litigation, including by Public Citizen, will stop implementation of his unconstitutional and illegal emergency declaration. And the bipartisan rejection of his emergency declaration will make it far harder for him to declare future fake emergencies for nefarious ends.

There’s no doubt that We the People must remain vigilant to stop future, dangerous claims of “emergency.” Trump’s rejection of a Republican deal to permit this emergency in exchange for commonsense reform to the National Emergencies Act underscores his desire to declare future emergencies. His recent Breitbart interview threatening “very bad, very bad” consequences if things “go to a certain point” underscores how perilous are emergency powers in Trump’s hands. And we all should be deeply worried by Michael Cohen’s statement that “given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power.”