Ex-federal prosecutor says battle over Trump emergency declaration will focus on military funds

Former federal prosecutor Joseph Moreno on Wednesday told Hill.TV's "Rising" that the court battle over President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE's national emergency declaration will focus on whether the declaration is fair use of appropriated military funds. 

"It'll be whether or not this is an appropriate use of military appropriated funds," Moreno told hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton. 

"[The courts] will say, 'OK, fine, the national emergency has been declared. What in fact, though, President Trump, do you propose to do with these funds in this case?' and that I think is where the battleground is going to be," Moreno continued.

Trump on Friday declared a national emergency at the U.S. southern border in order to secure the funds for his long-promised border wall. 

"I want to do it faster. I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn't need to do this, but I'd rather do it much faster," the president told reporters at the White House last week.

Critics have pounced upon his comments, saying they point to Trump declaring the emergency as a means of achieving a political goal instead of trying to deal with an actual emergency at the border. 

Sixteen states filed a lawsuit on Monday in an effort to block the national emergency declaration, claiming the situation at the border was a "manufactured crisis." 

"It will certainly resurface as part of a legal argument, and it won't help the president," Moreno said referring to Trump's comments. 

"But I don't think that's going to ultimately be dispositive," he added. "Ultimately, that goes to the status of declaring the declaration in the first place, and I don't think courts are going to weigh in so much and say we're going to reach into the executive branch and second guess this authority that Congress has bestowed upon the president to declare when something is an emergency." 

— Julia Manchester