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Zeldin to Newsmax TV: Use of Insurrection Act Is Trump's Decision Not Esper's

(Newsmax TV/"Spicer & Co.")

By    |   Thursday, 04 June 2020 08:03 PM

Defense Secretary Mark Esper should not have publicly spoken out against use of the Insurrection Act, after President Donald Trump considered invoking the measure to gain control of cities around the country that have gone through riots over the last week, Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., told Newsmax TV.

"So the president is the commander-in-chief, and it's one thing if you're told to carry out an illegal order. There are protections that exist. You can be a private. You can be a second lieutenant. As you go down that chain of command, when your superiors are giving you orders that are illegal, that's different," Zeldin told Thursday's "Spicer & Co."

"In this particular case, the president would be making a decision to utilize the Insurrection Act. The Secretary of Defense may not agree. What he could do is say, 'Mr. President, I recommend that you don't use it. Mr. President, I strongly recommend you don't use the Insurrection Act, and here's why,' And that's in a private conversation.

Zeldin said the president has the sole authority to use the Insurrection Act, which could be legally used to control looters and rioters.

"This is a legal use of authority, and the question that I would pose for anyone questioning it is: how much looting, burning, physical attacking would you sign off on? We have 200 injured NYPD ... how many of our cities around the country have to get destroyed before you decide that it's appropriate," Zeldin said.

Zeldin added: "The president might not have the same standard as Secretary Esper does, but it's Donald Trump who's the commander-in-chief, and for him, he might decide that we need to establish law and order before we see more get destroyed. And that's a rational position for him to have."

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New York Rep. Lee Zeldin told Newsmax TV Defense Secretary Mark Esper should not have publicly spoken out against use of the Insurrection Act, after President Donald Trump considered invoking the measure to gain control of cities...
leezeldin, insurrectionact, protests, riot
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2020-03-04
Thursday, 04 June 2020 08:03 PM
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