ACLU to ask court to block $3.6B reallocated from military projects to border wall

ACLU to ask court to block $3.6B reallocated from military projects to border wall

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Tuesday said it would ask for a court order preventing the Trump administration from reallocating military funds to use for border wall construction. 

The ACLU's announcement came after the administration notified lawmakers Tuesday that it would move forward with redirecting the $3.6 billion from military construction projects for use at the border. 

“The fact that the government sat on these so-called ‘emergency funds’ for seven months further confirms that this is nothing but an unlawful power grab," said ACLU attorney Dror Ladin in a statement. 

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"We’ll be back in court very soon to block Trump’s latest effort to raid military funds for his xenophobic wall,” he added.

Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: US military jet crashes in Afghanistan | Rocket attack hits US embassy in Baghdad | Bolton bombshell rocks impeachment trial Overnight Defense: Veterans group seeks Trump apology for comments on brain injuries | Pentagon says dozens of troops suffered traumatic injuries after attack | Trump unveils Space Force logo Commerce Department withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon pushback: reports  MORE called congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse passes bill aimed at bolstering Holocaust education Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — NFL social media accounts hacked | Dem questions border chief over controversial Facebook group | Clinton says Zuckerberg has 'authoritarian' views Meadows: Republicans who break with Trump could face political repercussions MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMeadows: Republicans who break with Trump could face political repercussions Bolton book alleges Trump tied Ukraine aid freeze to Biden investigations: NYT Trump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president MORE (D-N.Y.), on Tuesday to inform them of the reallocation decision. 

Schumer slammed the move as a "slap in the face" to military members.  

Pentagon officials also said that Esper approved using $3.6 billion in Defense Department dollars to build 175 miles of wall on U.S.- Mexico border.

The ACLU first sued the Trump administration to prevent it from repurposing the money after President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report Dershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense MORE's February emergency declaration. He declared the emergency in order to gain access to additional money for the wall after Congress passed a spending bill that only gave $1.35 billion for the border.

The Supreme Court ruled in July that the administration could start using $2.5 billion in military funding for the wall while litigation on the matter plays out.

An ACLU spokesperson told The Hill that the statute President Trump is invoking for using the $3.6 billion is different from the statute invoked for the $2.5 billion.