President Donald Trump's use of executive powers would worry even the "most ardent proponent of executive power" in our nation's history, Alexander Hamilton, John Yoo wrote in a column for The New York Times.
Yoo authored the legal memos for George W. Bush after Sept. 11, 2001, touting the use of "extreme measures" — including military trials and the use of enhanced interrogation tactics known as the Torture Memos — to protect the United States.
"But even I have grave concerns about Mr. Trump's uses of presidential power," Yoo wrote for the Times.
Specifically, Yoo writes he is concerned by some of Trump's actions:
- NAFTA: "Presidents have no authority to cancel tariff and trade laws unilaterally."
- The Border Wall: "The president has no constitutional authority over border control."
- Sally Yates: "The White House undermined its valid use of the removal power by accusing Ms. Yates of being 'weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.' Such irrelevant ad hominem accusations suggest a misconception of the president's authority of removal."
Yoo, a scholar at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, concludes that Trump doesn't need "a degree in constitutional law" to be successful.
"But he should understand the Constitution's grant of executive power. He should share Hamilton's vision of an energetic president leading the executive branch in a unified direction, rather than viewing the government as the enemy," Yoo wrote.
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