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Thu Jul 23, 2020, 07:20 AM

It is time for Congress to investigate the emergency authorities given to the chief executive.

How Powerful Is the President?

It is time for Congress to investigate the emergency authorities given to the chief executive


By Gary Hart

Mr. Hart is a former Democratic senator from Colorado and former presidential candidate.

July 23, 2020, 5:00 a.m. ET

In 1975, after public revelations of intelligence abuses concealed from all but a handful of members of Congress, the United States Senate created a temporary committee to study the nation’s spy agencies — something no standing committee had ever attempted.

What came to be known as the Church Committee, after its chairman, Senator Frank Church of Idaho, recommended broad reforms, including the creation of a permanent Intelligence Oversight Committee. Former Vice President Walter Mondale and I are the last surviving members of the Church Committee.

We have recently come to learn of at least a hundred documents authorizing extraordinary presidential powers in the case of a national emergency, virtually dictatorial powers without congressional or judicial checks and balances. President Trump alluded to these authorities in March when he said, “I have the right to do a lot of things that people don’t even know about.” No matter who occupies the office, the American people have a right to know what extraordinary powers presidents believe they have. It is time for a new select committee to study these powers and their potential for abuse, and advise Congress on the ways in which it might, at a minimum, establish stringent oversight.

Secret powers began accumulating during the Eisenhower years and have grown by accretion ever since. The rationale originally was to permit a president to exercise necessary control in the case of nuclear war, an increasingly remote possibility since the Cold War’s end. An obscure provision in the Communications Act of 1934 empowers the president to suspend broadcast stations and other means of communication following a “proclamation by the President” of “national emergency.” Powers like these have been deployed sparingly: A few days after the Sept. 11 attacks, a proclamation declaring a national emergency, followed by an executive order days later, invoked some presidential powers, including the use of National Guard and U.S. military forces.

What little we know about these secret powers comes from the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School, but we believe they may include suspension of habeas corpus, surveillance, home intrusion, arrest without a judicial warrant, collective if not mass arrests and more; some could violate constitutional protections.

A number of us have urged immediate congressional investigations concerning what these powers are and why they have been kept secret. Public hearings should be held before the November elections, especially with rumors rife that the incumbent president might interfere with the election or refuse to accept the result if he felt in jeopardy of losing........

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Reply It is time for Congress to investigate the emergency authorities given to the chief executive. (Original post)
riversedge Jul 2020 OP
riversedge Jul 2020 #1
beachbumbob Jul 2020 #2

Response to riversedge (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2020, 07:41 AM

1. I emailed this to my Senators and Rep. and hope you all contact your reps also.

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Response to riversedge (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2020, 07:59 AM

2. at this time I want Biden to be able to use all the power he can have

as it will take MASSIVE effort to stop the decline of the Federal govt, none the less make any improvements on what trump/gop has destroyed

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