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FILE: Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks during a community rally in support of DACA recipients on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, at El Centro De La Raza in Seattle.
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FILE: Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks during a community rally in support of DACA recipients on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, at El Centro De La Raza in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Washington's attorney general mulls lawsuit over Trump emergency declaration

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he’s prepared to file a legal challenge to President Donald Trump’s wall plan if it taps federal money meant for Washington state.

Trump declared a state of emergency Friday in order to build a barrier at the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

"We'll take a close look at the budget, what funds he chooses to raid in order to fund this sham emergency he's coming up with to pay for this wall," Ferguson said the day before the declaration was made. "And if Washington projects are impacted, from my standpoint that would be extremely serious."

"I don't want to be absolute about at this moment, but we're prepared for a lawsuit if we think that's the right course of action," he added.

NPR reports that White House officials say Trump's executive action, including the emergency declaration, will free up a total of about $8 billion for border wall construction. That includes the $1.375 billion in the funding bill passed by Congress on Thursday.

The balance of the funds include:

  • $600 million from the Treasury drug forfeiture fund.
  • Some $2.5 billion from counter drug activities with the Department of Defense, and some reprogramming from other Pentagon accounts.
  • Some $3.6 billion in military construction funds.

No disaster money will be used as part of this plan.

Trump said Friday he expected legal challenges, and predicted they would eventually reach the Supreme Court, where he said, "we'll win, I think."

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


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