Schiff: Trump's threat to declare national emergency a 'non-starter'

Top House Democrat Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff, Khanna call for free masks for all Americans in coronavirus aid package House Intelligence panel opens probe into DHS's involvement in response to protests Democrats exit briefing saying they fear elections under foreign threat MORE (D-Calif.) on Sunday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary MORE "doesn't have the power" to declare a national emergency over the border.

"So that's a non-starter," the incoming House Intelligence Committee chairman told CNN's "State of the Union."

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Trump since Friday has been threatening to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern U.S. border.

"I may decide a national emergency depending on what happens over the next few days," Trump told reporters on Sunday.

Senate Minority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinThe Hill's Campaign Report: Who will Biden pick to be his running mate? Don't count out Duckworth in Biden VP race Schumer: Trump should want COVID-19 deal to help GOP election chances MORE (D-Ill.) on Sunday also warned of a legal challenge if Trump bypasses Congress and declares a national emergency to have a wall built.

“I can just tell you, I don’t know what he’s basing this on, but he’s faced so many lawsuits when he ignores the law and ignores tradition and precedent and just goes forward without any concern,” Durbin said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“He’ll face a challenge, I’m sure, if he oversteps what the law requires when it comes to his responsibility as commander in chief,” Durbin added.

Sunday is the 16th day of the ongoing partial government shutdown, which resulted from a standoff between Trump's request for $5.7 billion to fund border security, including a wall or border barrier, and Democrats' refusal to fund a border wall.

"We have to build the wall or we have to build the barrier," Trump said Sunday. "The barrier or the wall can be of steel instead of concrete if that works better."

— Michael Burke contributed to this report, which was updated at 10:53 a.m.