A bipartisan group of 58 former senior national security officials will issue a statement Monday saying that “there is no factual basis” for President Trump’s proclamation of a national emergency to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The joint statement, whose signatories include former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and former defense secretary Chuck Hagel, will come a day before the House is expected to vote on a resolution to block Trump’s Feb. 15 declaration.
The former officials’ statement, which will be entered into the Congressional Record, is intended to support lawsuits and other actions challenging the national emergency proclamation and to force the administration to set forth the legal and factual basis for it.
“Under no plausible assessment of the evidence is there a national emergency today that entitles the president to tap into funds appropriated for other purposes to build a wall at the southern border,” the group said.
Albright served under President Bill Clinton, and Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, served under President Barack Obama.
Also signing were Eliot A. Cohen, State Department counselor under President George W. Bush; Thomas R. Pickering, President George H.W. Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations; John F. Kerry, Obama’s second secretary of state; Susan E. Rice, Obama’s national security adviser; Leon E. Panetta, Obama’s CIA director and defense secretary; as well as former intelligence and security officials who served under Republican and Democratic administrations.