By Jon Dougherty
On his nationally syndicated program Wednesday, talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh offered a remarkable theory as to why POTUS Donald Trump hasn’t acted on his own to deal with what is clearly a border “crisis” and “emergency.”
Of course, we know that the president declared a national emergency along the border last month as a way to secure funding for new border walls and fencing along sections identified by federal immigration authorities as most in need of barriers.
No sooner than he made his declaration open borders Democrats began legal and legislative actions to countermand the executive order. The effort looks like it will be successful; the House has already passed a bill blocking the declaration and, if Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is right, at least 10 GOP senators are going to side with all Democrats against the declaration as well.
That will lead to POTUS Trump’s first veto, according to the White House. And last month, the president said he believes his order will be upheld at the Supreme Court, eventually.
But POTUS doesn’t really even have to bother with an emergency declaration. By law, he can simply order the border shut down, period, no questions asked.
On his program, Limbaugh referenced an opinion column written in December by lawyer and former federal prosecutor Sydney Powell, author of “LICENSED TO LIE: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice.”
In her column, Powell noted that “Title 8, United States Code §1182(f) gives the president the power ‘to suspend the entry of all aliens’ whenever he finds their entry ‘would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.’ It’s just that simple.”
In other words, the president — not Congress and not the courts — has the sole authority under the law, right now, to simply shut down the border. And what’s more, the law and the president’s power under it was reaffirmed just recently by the U.S. Supreme Court in Trump v. Hawaii.
The high court was very clear: “The sole prerequisite set forth in 8 U.S.C. §1182(f) is that the President ‘find’ that the entry of the covered aliens ‘would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.’”
So why doesn’t Trump just forget the emergency declaration and the tussle with Congress and just act under Title 8? Because, Limbaugh believes, he doesn’t have enough support from Republicans to do that “nuclear option” — as evidenced by Paul’s prediction. And without their support, he’ll surely be impeached, which, we should never forget, is the objective of Democrats and the #NeverTrump GOP establishment.
Limbaugh noted, in response to a caller who asked why the president doesn’t just act:
To answer your question, the best answer I can give you — and I cannot give you this with ontological certitude — is that the president wants support from the party. He wants Republican support for whatever action he takes.
Look, everybody knows that he’s gonna be impeached, and he knows he’s gonna be impeached. It’s in the cards. It’s been set up since [special counsel Robert] Mueller was appointed. Trump is going to be impeached. The only question is when. The Mueller report is due to drop this week. That’s some of the best thinking out there, tomorrow or Friday.
When it does, that will signify the official beginning of impeachment season. Jerry Nadler, I think, has a heads-up on it. Nadler’s investigation is focusing on obstruction of justice at the highest levels of the Trump administration. That’s what Mueller’s report is ostensibly gonna focus on since it can’t focus on collusion since there wasn’t any.
So Trump is looking for support from his party. The only way he survives impeachment is if his party stays with him. The Democrats can impeach him all day long in the House, but they have to get a conviction in the Senate, and if Trump loses Republican support in the Senate — if the Republicans decide for whatever reason that they want Trump gone, too — well, then, he’s got to take this into account!
So let us assume, maybe, that Mitch McConnell (The Turtle) and others in the Senate are telling Trump not to use this law, that it would be the nuclear option, that there would be no recovering from this. “That’s way too much. That’s not called for right now.”
So if the Republicans in the Senate are signaling to Trump that they’re not gonna back him if he does something like this — and they’re clearly signaling that, because they aren’t gonna support him unilaterally on the declaration of a national emergency. So the president has to make a decision — and, by the way, folks, I’m wild guessing here. I should tell you, I’ve spoken to nobody. I haven’t been able to speak to anybody, but I don’t speak to anybody normally anyway. But I’m just trying to assemble pieces of this myself.
I think it all has to do with the future impeachment of the president. Now, let’s take the other side of this. When it comes to impeachment, you have nothing to do with it. Trump can satisfy every damn one of you by exercising his constitutional privilege to shut down immigration. He can stop it today. He can use this law that I have cited three times already; he can stop it today.
…[M]y point is, the way Trump is looking at this, unanimous support from you does not give him insurance against impeachment. That exists only in the Senate, and if Senate has a number of Republicans saying (impression), “Mr. President, I really don’t think you oughta be doin’ this, Dude. I mean, this is a nuclear option. Nuclear!
“You do this, and ain’t no comin’ back from it.” He doesn’t want to be without party support on something like this.
Again, to reiterate, Limbaugh said he hasn’t spoken to anyone so what he laid out is a theory, but it makes sense. The president can act and, clearly — given the fact that there most certainly is an emergency along the border right now — something has to be done.
Yet, if POTUS doesn’t act, then the Left and their open borders alliance have won and, again, America loses. So at some point is the president going to take the chance that acting definitively is worth the impeachment risk? Is he willing to act in the hopes of raising his approval rating so high that it will be political suicide for Congress to impeach? Will it even get that high?
It could be that the president doesn’t believe there are any ‘good’ options, so he is leaning towards issuing the order under Title 8 and letting the chips fall where they may. Certainly, based on his border approval numbers alone, most Americans, anyway, would support that, even if their ‘representatives’ won’t.
The real issue is, our nation is at a crossroads: Either we have borders or we don’t. Either we have border security or we don’t.
The Left has launched a full-on assault aimed at overturning our founding principles and ushering in a socialist authoritarianism. We have to draw a line in the sand sometime. Maybe that time has come.
Remember when, shortly after Trump was elected, the Left pledged to become ‘ungovernable‘?
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10