John Yoo: Trump Has Gone Too Far

John Yoo Trump Has Gone Too FarJohn Yoo, who once advised President George W. Bush to take “vigorous, perhaps extreme, measures to protect the nation” in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, wrote in an opinion column in The New York Times on Monday that he believes President Trump’s actions are concerning. Yoo mentioned various examples, from the firing of Acting Attorney General Sally Yates to the president’s travel ban executive order, to illustrate his “grave concerns” about Trump’s “uses of presidential power.” He added, “While my robust vision of the presidency supports some of Mr. Trump’s early executive acts—presidents have the power to terminate international agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, for example—others are more dubious.” Yoo said he takes issue with Trump’s order to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. He continued, “The president has no constitutional authority over border control, which the Supreme Court has long found rests in the hands of Congress. Under Article I of the Constitution, only Congress can fund the construction of a wall, a fence or even a walking path along the border. And the president cannot slap a tax or tariff on Mexican imports without Congress.” Yoo also specifically mentioned Trump’s stated future actions on the North American Free Trade Agreement. “Presidents have no authority to cancel tariff and trade laws unilaterally,” Yoo said. “A successful president need not have a degree in constitutional law,” he concluded. “But he should understand the Constitution’s grant of executive power.”