Ex-National Security Officials to Denounce Trump's Emergency Declaration

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A group of former U.S. national security officials is set to release a statement on Monday, Feb. 25, arguing that there is no justification for President Donald Trump to use a national emergency declaration to fund a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

Secretary of State John Kerry, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, CIA Director Leon Panetta and National Security Adviser Susan Rice from the Obama administration have reportedly signed the letter.

"There is no factual basis for the declaration of a national emergency", the statement reads.

Diverting funds to the project will 'undermine USA national security and foreign policy interests, ' the 58 ex-officials wrote in the letter, first reported by the Washington Post.

It continues that illegal border crossings are a 40-year low, decreasing from 851,000 in 2006 to 62,000 in 2016, and redirecting money to pay for physical barriers "will undermine USA national security and foreign policy interests".

In the letter, the former lawmakers asks current Republicans to pass a joint resolution to officially terminate Trump's national emergency, writing that while they are no longer serving in Congress, "that oath still burns within us".

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A measure is expected to pass easily in the Democratic-controlled House tomorrow, forcing a hard vote for GOP senators, who will have to weigh whether to support Trump on a move that even some in his party have criticised as circumventing the will of Congress.

"I want to make sure that the resolution of disapproval is exactly what I think it is, because if it is as I understand it to be, I will likely be supporting the resolution to disapprove of the action", Murkowski reportedly said Friday. "Without strong Borders, we don't have a Country - and the voters are on board with us".

"Be strong and smart, don't fall into the Democrats "trap" of Open Borders and Crime!" he wrote.

The joint statement comes as President Donald Trump has been buffeted by criticism and lawsuits for having declared a national emergency at the U.S. -Mexico border on February 15 in order to appropriate funds to build physical barriers there.

Trump declared the national emergency in order to bypass Congress for the funds, a move 16 states say is illegal in a lawsuit California filed last week.

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