Transcript for Dems take action to block Trump from declaring national emergency
And. They're great welcome to the briefing room on this Friday and Devin Dwyer Washington joined by joining her homework or political reporter and our pentagon reporter. Senior pentagon reporter Willie Martinez for the first time in the flash. You can hear you great to see you really use of the year over there which reports. At the Pentagon let's talk about today with the with the border wall funding fight the president declared a national emergency last week. And to date house Democrats for the first time taking that formal step to try to block president trump. From carrying out that executive action C easy money that congress has appropriated to help build that wallets for in our John Parkinson he's up on. Capitol Hill I think are in the beer or are you John. They are right up front of the White House concurrent on the other side of town. I bring us up to speed on what Nancy Pelosi did today and what the odds are that congressional Democrats can actually tie the president's hands. Yeah well I think this is the first swing really at the Kenyatta there that the president's guy with his national emergency declaration. Today they file the bill we expect them to have a vote on Tuesday next week. And from there you know it's gonna pass the house there's 226 house Democrats that are co sponsoring this bill heaving got one Republican congressman just in a mosh. Of Michigan to sign on to this. But we don't really I think that this will go to the numbers that they need to sustain a presidential veto in just a short time ago on the Oval Office. The president said that he would 100% veto this measure if it ever got to his desk. So this is the first legislative attempts Louie to try to block the president's. Money grab your fuel let's remind everybody can we have a graphic. Of how president trump has decided he's gonna cobbled together more than eight billion dollars to being construction of the border wall of course the spending bill was signed. Last week avoiding a government shutdown would provide about one point four vapid of the president's ABC news executive action to seize. Drug forfeiture funds from the treasury his and also take some money from the Pentagon's drug interdiction program 2.5 billionaire. Hot and then met national emergency to free up three and a half billion from the military construction budget Louie there was some talk today out there in the Twitter sphere. And that's perhaps the president. Where is got a little bit ahead of his skis here and there that money is actually there in the Pentagon budget what would you be able to track down about what's available. So again and it according to earlier reporting of what we're talking about here is the drug into TV counter narcotics program that man has this is ruined everything fund. He. Deployment of troops along the border to interdict going to really impossible or. Now the reality is that what we've been reporting is that there's about 850 million dollars in that account. And so what they're gonna do you need to do is transfer in fine from other pending on accounts so that it boosts the number up to two and a half billion. Dollars so hung. They do that to be just as defense they're acting Defense Secretary just look at that at the books look at the different accounts and say what cherry pick from here in there and voila that's exactly what and a they're gonna have to go three counts of one by one and try to figure out where they can take money of ping on has his fancy terms of reprogramming. And so congress does so easy it's at such an easy thing a format right. But congress gets involved when they have to after the trigger certain amounts so I think what's gonna happen as the Pentagon is going to shift accounts from let's. I think what we've heard is mean his meaning is eighty counts and a shift increments between 30000000 and forty million dollars so that they don't trigger. Any congressional oversight and in that amount was going to be at up to the Q and have built. We've heard so far it in all there are tradeoffs to all of this as we've been hearing particularly from members of congress last John about that and a second but. Has the Pentagon identified yet what projects will lose that money to go into the wall do we know yet what the weapon crisis going to be. And I close yeah we heard from acting secretary Shanahan over the weekend when used flying back from Europe. Why is that he's gonna have to get together with the joint staff to figure out exactly what program's winningest these are from ths because the request is to a trillion conference DHS. Then they're gonna match that up requirement that requirement with what. Do you. And then DOD is gonna look at where they can actually get the money from in the Milken military articles are your reporting this and we're talking months. This is a word and a new ground is broken to build water they say this is going to be a very lengthy process even if there were no lawsuits which potentially there will be. We're talking about a very lengthy process in terms of lining up where the money's coming from. How you gonna shifted around and then be warning. Contract itself so it's not now nor close very in the states Johnny Harris sixteen states are now suing the administration over this and that's gonna run its course as well right and I'm curious it. You know. This is still playing out announced when he nineteen but the 220 election is is very much underway and I think it's important to keep up locals for perspective on this that. Again this was president Trump's signature campaign promise in 2016. And you're now seeing it seeing Gordon great lengths of trying to get done as interest into a lot of Democrats now running for president come law Harris calls supporter all vanity project. You're gonna see them start to counter message on this and I think this fight is only gonna bring this even more and to answer. Campaign south and John Parkinson before we let you go we know members of congress are back in their districts this is a holiday week for them in Washington they're back Kara Monday but. A lot of them have been hearing from constituents Republicans and Democrats in military. Heavy districts. About where this money is going there's a lot of concern out there for members. Yeah I think that there is definitely a lot of concern from members on how many of their own projects are going to be. You know essentially rated for this money. Today we have speaker closely on the border with congressman Joaquin Castro teller a note and they're going to be examining more of these border checkpoints and and seen the impact of the legislation that they just passed plus he said that so far she's not heard any formal. Request to reprogram any money from the Defense Department. And at this point. You know with them beyond reassess I think that there's just a lot of staff briefings happening right now and this is really gonna kick off. On Monday when discuss the rules committee this bill that they filed. Plus he does say that this is just you know the first attempt that they're gonna take she's got five committees of jurisdiction they're looking at ways to undo this funding. And so I think that this is just merely the first punch we'll see from house Democrats and the continue to balance in the months ahead legislatively and then also in the courts. You know big battle ahead to get that border wall started before point 18 apartments and the White House thanks so much have a good weekend Willie Martinez. Great to see you in person thank you have a good weekend as well let's shift gears a on the topic of immigration. How we are talking about the border while the president also talking about those migrants coming across in the families that are coming across a big lawsuit is underway right now. In California over the separation of those families that are brought into United States the ACLU. Has sued to trump administration in San Diego federal court they at a hearing yesterday. Over the separation of those children any new report out. That thousands more children have been separated from their parents than we originally were led to believe Johnny guests and struck much when he twenty this is another explosive issue this court case puts the spotlight and it absolutely and you saw this. Come a major campaign issue 122 and a major political liability. For the president I think that this report is only going to you don't raise more questions in this I'm sick of me a lot more concern album the more and more information comes out. Yet he president eight months ago signed an executive order ending the practice a lot of speculation. And it's still actually taking place or one bring in our guests to join us from Al troll Lotto. An advocacy group this is attorney Carol and Donahue. Who has been working on the private side of things to help reunite parents and their children who were separated in this practice Carol angry to see you thank you so much for joining us. I did want to get your take on the state of play right now with this practice with this lawsuit. What's your sense of of what more needs to be done to get these kids back with their parents. Well obviously. Green would like to see all of the counties. Get justice who were separated. And we believe as the judge said yesterday that the fundamental premise that the law. And it was an unlawful. Separation. And we've not clear that I'm not a separation we would all we are right now. And now. And class to include all the people that apparently. We're not included before as we find out every day and there are even more recently separated. The Dow will cause. The ability to burdensome for the government to actually rectifier arena reunify. The east Athens. And if the government actually has made very little effort. To reunify it happens to find the people that hear that they are deported. And it has been mostly. Nonprofit. And advocacy groups that sounds now he raised money to act. How to go into dangerous remote areas to find these batteries. And it's acting lieutenant green and it's ridiculous for the government now saying it's too much of the burden. To undo what they did in the first place. Yet the judge in this case art excoriated. The government over this practice. Com and to take a step back from which are seeing Carroll land just in to remind people this federal court case. It's actually been underway for some time to judge ordered the government to effectively reunite all children that were taken. Since the zero policy. I tolerance policy began in 2017 but what you've pointed out is that there's a new study out that this began well before its when he seventeen and there are thousands more children. Who were never addressed. The judge is now considering whether to include them. In in her order what what are you doing what is your group doing to help reunite these families. Well honestly. We have done Amman where on the grounds. As things stand going to. Remote areas and Guatemala Honduras. I'm sound or are working with justice in motion and in those countries to locate and Aaron. Identify seaspan needs to get declarations to find out. What exactly happened when they came here to the United States how they were treated how they were separated. It should be noted we've done FOIA requests. Freedom of Information Act requests for these families and we've gotten back. Very little information on what actually happened when they were separated there will be. Response for the parent but there's no indication that they came with a child so it's clear that the government did not in any way. Take measures to ensure that these families if they were separated once they were separate with and get the united. Wow what a what a huge mess and painful as the FA CLU attorney said yesterday. We're talking about children who could be permanently orphaned. If they are reunited which is just sort of a stunning enough plot. Before we let you go Carol and it didn't give us a sense of what the biggest challenge is in this process as it. Is it is it tracking isn't isn't simply the language barrier is that the name getting matching the names of the fact that there's no system in place how do you. How do you bridge that divide. Well and again the challenge should not be on it should be on in government because they're the ones who Constance. Problem in the first place. We. Raised. Over a million dollars through together Rai singer crowd funding source. To be able to locate these families got money is nearly gone we don't know that we would how the money. Just fine to locate these other families and apparently. We're also a separated. So. The bird and and and and also another thing obviously the government has not. Active in that phase we putting petitions for family members economy back to be returned to the United States. On December 15 the government has thirty days to respond. And their response yesterday was basically. It was Burton's I'm happy spam. Shouldn't have to then Aaron another bird witches. Apply for humanitarian parole. Fine fiscal sponsors. If these are people who have been identified. Class members repetition should be returned and now they let this happen burden on Yahoo!. Families who you know who again who were coming from dangerous situations. Rural areas a lot of them aren't rare language. Carolina Donohue with the L ultra Lotto organization which is helping reunite parents and children separated. As a result of the trump administration zero tolerance policy at the border. Carolyn thanks so much for joining it's important to hear your perspective and keep a spotlight on this very important story. I shifting gears now to some new developments happening out of Virginia we've spent a lot of time Johnny talking here in the briefing room. About those set incredibly dramatic. The developments at though at the top of Virginia government over the past week. Now we're learning that Republicans in the state the legislature Virginia Powell wanted to have a hearing on a lieutenant governor told us what we know now about what's happening with just in Fairfax threats we're only you know cup. Weeks removed from all three top democratic officials in Virginia just being completely embroiled in scandal. These new developments have to do with lieutenant governor just in Fairfax in the two women who have come out and accused him of sexual assault. Republicans in the state legislature now say they want to hold hearings about this and they invited the two woman to cut to come forward and testify in the general assembly. One of them has accepted an invitations but now in the meantime governor is coming out saying this is political theater the Democrats in the Virginia legislature saying. You know this is just gamesmanship and and get on this isn't the best way to do this so. It's really you know there's there's a lot of uncertainty going forecast let's. Meanwhile all three men still have their jobs including and its attorney general. Mark hearing let's take a listen today to the comments and announcing this new development to hold a hearing much like beeper cabin on Larry. On Capitol Hill here for the Supreme Court are around these sexual assault allegations as is the Republican committee chairman. Effectively the State's Judiciary Committee that would hold this hearing tickle us. It's been more than two weeks. Since doctor finesse that Tyson. Miss Meredith Watson made very specific. And detailed allegations that they had been sexually assaulted Billiton and governor just in Fairfax I think it's appropriate. To make a statement about future plans. So announced today. The courts of justice committee will schedule a meeting where we will invite doctor Tyson miss Watson to testify. We will also be inviting lieutenant governor Fairfax the testified. This would give all parties a chance to be hurt. So another political spectacle sure to play out very soon we're bringing our correspondents acrid key issue spent a lot of time reporting down. In Virginia joins us now from New York sacker great to see is so. What do you make of this new turn and you know I guess one question I have is in unit to get a lot of reporting on the victims. Where's the criminal aspect of this is as it is this just pure politics. Well it's it's. Being called a political stunt right I mean assisted with gonna happen here is is these women are gonna go into this this public. Arena it will be broadcast will be of the see it happen live. And they're gonna say some some really awful things about the lieutenant governor and went the lieutenant governor has has said from the beginning at least in the conversations that I've had with. With his team is that they want this to happen. In a criminal form so whether that's the attorney general of the police department in North Carolina or Massachusetts where these incidents happened. They believed that is the proper. Venue to to to to flush these things out and get to the bottom of it. At bear in mind this we are in a beyond the seriousness certainly the seriousness of these allegations. We are in a climate right now where. These are really difficult questions to ask certainly in light of the need to movement and the questions of Fairfax camp has been asking is. Do these legislators do they have the background of they have the training to they have the poised. Two to ask these questions and do it in a way that actually. Pushes this thing forward they don't believe. That's can it be the case. And it will be interesting to see. What actually happened. Yeah remember that compare herbal hearing here in the nation's capital with Brent Cavanaugh then a candidate for the Supreme Court the Republicans Johnny Harris hired a sex crimes prosecutor from Arizona and come in and do the questioning to Zachary sport now and nothing I do want people to remember this case is that. Fairfax. Has been represented now for awhile now by the exact same law firm that bright talent hired during his hearings and one of his accusers. Is employing the same law firm that doctor Christian policy forward. Our during her hearing so this is there the parallels between now aren't credible. And Sargent Akron it's a very important point that you know this is an era where. The you know the American society is trying to figure out exactly how to litigate these claims and what's the best way to investigate exactly obstruct by the fact. That this has now taken such a political turn in their early days of this story with when both the governor. Lieutenant governor attorney general all each had a embroiled in their own scandals they're did seem to be. From afar are very bipartisan condemnation of each of them sort of unity in opposition to the behaviors and allegations that that were Brock but now. This does seem to be a politicized in a way that it hadn't been initially. I mean legislated out there it's it's a convergence of events write to I'm out there in Richmond talking bout. The idea that Fairfax could be taking over for the governor right over four north them who was tied to these. Black face photos and just like that these allegations started to surface. At some point. The second one came out in essentially we got here but to your point. The governor of Virginia has been adamant that he is staying even his tone suggested. He feels like he's on a bridge over troubled water he was supposed to be out. Out in the community this week part of his racial reconciliation to work. That stopped was canceled as a relates to Fairfax I mean he has. A lot of of issues that he needs to address certainly there was a call for he is impeachment. They walk that back but in many ways this is like the first stage. Of impeachment proceeding they're gonna flush this thing out. And you gotta remember. At every level certainly this thing started with race. And it even in this moment I think there's a lot of people wondering if the treatment of Fairfax is in any way related to raise I think a lot of people are asking if he gets due process. No request you will be interesting to see if he's afforded that right that opportunity. In this platform. Her attacker quiche thanks so much and really important thoughts we know you keep on the reporting probably be back down there Virginia soon enough about it that spectacle does unfolds after thinks every weekend. I'm of one today whipped up a look ahead to next week it's going to be an epic week here Washington and across the globe in Vietnam as president trump. Prepares to hold his second historic summit with the leader of North Korea this time taking place in Hanoi Vietnam eight months after the first Johnny. We will hear in a second from sir Sanders in her expectations for this meaning but let's remind everybody. The momentous events that are going to take place on the same day next week. It's not just a summit here in Washington that will keep our us. Are absolutely I mean I think we all remember they just incredible spectacle was the first meeting between trump and Kim Jong-un. And trump has repeatedly sort of you know praise and as a leader in sad that you know he's someone like a great relationship with. So you know there have obviously been developments in between what you see that that this really I think president trump wants this to be a legacy. Things for him and I think that that this neighbor has seen this next meaning exactly where the progress is. Infatuated with the Nobel Peace Prize we understand but also I was alluding to. The hearing with Michael Cohen the full board president that's our personal attorney I just can't I can't remember all that although I think there. Proud of him he will recall testifying publicly on Wednesday asked the president's meeting with Kim Jong-un hosted by the Democrats here in capital and also a little bit of counter programming. And so but speaking of expectations you talked about a the president has high expectations are Sanders at the bar just a little bit lower let's take us. We're continuing to back and have these conversations. And as a president has sent we'll see what happens. We're taking this one step at a time or continue to see positive progress. And we think that's a good thing but we're we're not going to be night in the process. We know we have a long way to go we're gonna continue moving Florida. As things are going allow parents. All right continue going forward as things are going well whatever that means that we know that the president. Looking forward to that triple we've jarred just learning here at ABC news' from sources close to the Mueller investigations something else we have been watching for next week. That that delivery of Robert Muller's report to the Justice Department is now not expected to happen among the president is out of the country so. Still. A few weeks out from June delivery that big moment. How we'll have full coverage of the president's summit here on ABC news live hope you join me I'll be anchoring coverage. How will be all night long as the president moment by moment encounters that the North Korean leader. And what agreements might be on the table we will find out have a terrific cast of reporters. Traveling to the region as wells hope you stay with us. Johnny great to have you here in the briefing room couple times this week hoping have a great weekend and Devin Dwyer Washington with Synnex. Yeah.
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