News

Trump aides drafted proclamation to use Insurrection Act amid protests in wake of George Floyd death

Trump aides were ready to deploy active-duty troops to DC protests in the wake of George Floyd death and drafted a proclamation to use the Insurrection Act, report says

  • Two senior Trump administration officials told The New York Times that the proclamation was drafted on June 1, 2020
  • That same day, Trump had given a fiery speech in which he threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 and said he would call up the military
  • ‘I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,’ Trump had said in the speech 
  • He ‘was aware’ the aides had drafted the document, one former official said 
  • Trump never invoked the act and denied that he had wanted to deploy active-duty troops in a statement to The New York Times 

White House aides wrote a draft proclamation to invoke the Insurrection Act as then- President Donald Trump threatened to deploy active-duty troops to Washington D.C. amid protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd, according to a report.

Two senior Trump administration officials told The New York Times that the proclamation was drafted on June 1, 2020 in case Trump moved to deploy active-duty troops in Washington.

That same day, Trump had given a fiery speech in which he threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 and said he would call up the military if governors did not respond how he wished to the escalating protests, CNN reported at the time.   

‘If the city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residence, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,’ Trump had said in the speech.

Two senior Trump administration officials told The New York Times that the proclamation was drafted on June 1, 2020 – the same day Trump had given a fiery speech in which he threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act

Trump said he would call up the military if governors did not respond how he wished to the escalating protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd

Trump said he would call up the military if governors did not respond how he wished to the escalating protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd

People react after learning the sentencing of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin outside the Hennepin County Government Center on Friday

People react after learning the sentencing of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin outside the Hennepin County Government Center on Friday

Protesters gather on May 30, 2020 in New York City to protest the death of George Floyd

Protesters gather on May 30, 2020 in New York City to protest the death of George Floyd

Trump ‘was aware’ that the aides had drafted the document, one former official told The New York Times.

Trump never invoked the act and denied that he had wanted to deploy active-duty troops in a statement to The New York Times. 

‘It’s absolutely not true and if it was true, I would have done it,’ Trump said. 

The outlet reported that the aides had drafted the proclamation during a ‘heated debate’ about how to respond to the escalating protests then gripping the nation.

One official said Trump told Attorney General William Barr, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Mark Milley that he wanted ‘thousands’ of active-duty troops in Washington D.C.

Three officials, who were not revealed, reportedly talked Trump out of deploying troops to the United Stats capital. However, some staffers reportedly wanted to leave the option of invoking the Insurrection Act open.

Later that same day, Trump made his infamous walk across Lafayette Park to St. John’s Church where he posed holding a Bible as law enforcement and protesters clashed near the White House.

The revelations in The New York Times came after CNN obtained excerpts from a new book by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender.

In the book, Bender revealed that Milley was a ‘lone voice’ in repeatedly pushing back on Trump’s desires to use the military to stop civil unrest around the country. 

After Trump lost the 2020 presidential election, some of his supporters returned to calling on the president to invoke the Insurrection Act, Politico reported.

Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, prominent MAGA figures who led ‘stop the steal’ efforts claiming without evidence that the 2020 election had been rigged against Trump, were among those who voiced support of invoking the act, according to the outlet.

How Insurrection Act gave Trump the power to deploy military to US streets without approval of governors

Under the US Constitution, governors generally have the authority to maintain order within state borders. This principle is reflected in a law called the Posse Comitatus Act, which generally bars the federal military from participating in domestic law enforcement.

The Insurrection Act, which dates to the early 1800s, creates an exception to the Posse Comitatus Act.

It permits the president to send in US forces to suppress a domestic insurrection that has hindered the normal enforcement of US law.

COULD TRUMP HAVE SENT IN TROOPS WITHOUT A GOVERNOR’S APPROVAL?

Yes. The law lays out a scenarios in which the president is required to have approval from a state’s governor or legislature, and also instances where such approval is not necessary, said Robert Chesney, a professor of national security law at the University of Texas.

HAS IT BEEN INVOKED BEFORE?

Yes. The Insurrection Act has been invoked on dozens of occasions through U.S. history. Since the civil rights movement of the 1960s, its use has become ‘exceedingly rare’, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.

The Insurrection Act was last used in 1992, when the acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King led to deadly riots.

Before that, it was invoked in 1989 during widespread looting in St Croix, Virgin Islands, after Hurricane Hugo.

In 2006 the Bush administration suggested using the act to intervene in Louisiana’s response to Hurricane Katrina – despite the governor’s refusal – but that move was deemed unconstitutional.

The act was subsequently amended in 2007 to explicitly allow any emergency hindering law enforcement to be a cause for use of the military.

In 2008, the amendment was repealed after the governors of all 50 states issued a joint statement against it. 

– Reporting by Megan Sheets for DailyMail.com and Reuters

Advertisement

Most Related Links :
Business News Governmental News Finance News

Source link

Back to top button