Pentagon to probe legality of using troops on US border

The Pentagon's independent investigator says he will evaluate the legality of the Trump administration's use of military troops on the southwestern border

ByROBERT BURNS AP National Security Writer
December 10, 2019, 2:25 PM

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon's independent investigations office says it will evaluate the legality of the Trump administration's use of the military at the U.S. southwestern border.

Glenn Fine, the acting inspector general, announced Tuesday that his probe will assess several aspects of the military's border mission, which some in Congress call a misuse of the military. Fine said he will look at what the troops are doing at the border, what training they received for the mission, and whether their use at the border is legal.

For more than a year, the administration has placed several thousand active-duty troops along the border to perform various missions in connection with President Donald Trump's campaign to clamp down on illegal entries. The troops have erected wire barriers, assisted with border surveillance and performed other functions in support of Department of Homeland Security.

In a letter to Fine in September, 33 House members urged an investigation of what they called the “misuse and politicization" of the military at the border. Under federal law, the military may not be used for domestic law enforcement purposes. The Trump administration's view is that the troops are in a national security role at the border.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events