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Fox News legal expert: Trump using emergency powers to build his wall would be unconstitutional

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With the partial shutdown of the federal government dragging on and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continuing to oppose a U.S./Mexico border wall, President Donald Trump has asserted that he might force the construction of a wall by declaring a state of emergency. But according to Fox News’ Judge Andrew Napolitano, such a declaration would be unconstitutional.

Appearing on the morning show “Fox and Friends” on January 8, the libertarian told host Steve Doocy and others that Trump “can declare a state of emergency, but the declaration itself does not give him the power to take private property.”

Napolitano went on to say that in parts of Texas, the wall would need to be built on what is now private property—and the federal government “would have to condemn it and pay for it. (Trump) can’t do that without congressional authorization. He can’t spend money without congressional authorization.”

Napolitano added, “The emergency declaration allows him to mobilize assets, but it doesn’t allow him to take or occupy property—and it doesn’t allow him to spend money that Congress hasn’t authorized.”

At Fox News, Trump supporter Sean Hannity has asserted that forcing the construction of a border wall via an emergency declaration is a good idea. But Napolitano has not been shy about parting company with his colleagues at Fox News when he believes they are wrong. And on “Fox and Friends,” the judge stressed that a border wall would have to be funded by Congress whether Trump likes it or not.

“If the president, frustrated by Congress, could declare a national emergency and go around Congress, we would have seen this before,” Napolitano explained. “Barack Obama would have declared a national emergency in health care and started spending money on insurance policies to keep people healthy. And obviously, he didn’t because he couldn’t.”

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Trump made his case for a border wall during a speech Tuesday. Napolitano noted that while Trump speech could urge the construction of a wall, “he can’t change the law, and he can’t avoid the Constitution.”

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Florida GOP official under fire for jokes about running over anti-Trump protesters

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Republican Brevard County commissioner Bryan Lober is coming under heavy criticism after making Facebook posts that joked about running over people protesting against President Donald Trump.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Lober recently responded to a Facebook post made on the "Political Voice of Brevard County" Facebook page about planned protests against Trump ahead of his 2020 campaign kickoff.

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Iowa Republican backtracks after hinting Kellyanne Conway is leaving the White House

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Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) hinted that Kellyanne Conway may be on her way out of the White House for violating federal law.

The Iowa Republican was asked to comment on findings by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel that Conway had repeatedly violated the Hatch Act by promoting political campaigns during public TV appearances as a senior adviser to President Donald Trump.

"Obviously there has been a commission that has decided that's not appropriate, so she is being removed from that position," Ernst told WHO-TV. "We certainly want to be working towards the good of all Americans. Obviously, she wants to support the president's initiatives. She is an adviser -- or was an adviser -- but she used her position differently."

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We have to prepare for this Trump nightmare scenario as Republican power-grabbers grow bolder

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Polls currently show that all the major Democratic presidential candidates are pulling way ahead of Donald Trump, and while Democrats should take nothing for granted — Trump will run a campaign so nasty it will likely put 2016 to shame — there is at least some reason hope that Americans will turn out in large numbers and that Trump will be soundly defeated in 2020. That victory would be both exciting and an enormous relief, a moment when we all collectively begin to believe that the national nightmare is ending.

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