President Donald Trump does not have the legal authority to declare a national emergency for the construction of a border wall.
In his speech on Fox News's "The story with Martha MacCallum", Napolitano warned against "dangerous constitutional waters" if the president gave reason to his declare a national emergency bypass the Congress and build the border wall.
In the event of a real crisis, a president has valid protection authorities, said Napolitano.
"Numbers [on border crossings] are very impressive, but an emergency is defined. . . like when the government is overwhelmed and its ordinary assets do not work, "he said. I do not think President Trump would say that. "
"[H]You can not spend money and you can only take goods if Congress has allowed them, "he added. This follows directly from the Constitution. "
Napolitano referred to the 1976 National Emergency Act, which he says defines urgency as when the country is overwhelmed.
In these cases, he said, emergency power is used to facilitate government assets in order to focus on an emergency and not to give the president additional constitutional authority.
Napolitano added that the eventual construction of a wall on private property would imply that the government proves that it was so during a lawsuit.
"The president is likely to be stung more than he can chew here legally and financially," he said. "He is clearly in constitutionally dangerous waters."
Trump has asked for more than $ 5 billion to build a wall. Democrats have offered $ 1.3 billion for border security and no money for the wall. This impasse triggered a partial government shutdown.
Trump is scheduled to deliver a keynote address on Tuesday and will travel to the border on Thursday.
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