National Security

President Trump’s Sleight of Hand

In law school, the continual battles in the judiciary between President Trump and those attempting to use the court system to stop him provide very ripe fodder for legal discussions between students. Now you must first understand that as a current law school student I am an anomaly. I am at least 30 years older than my cohorts in law school.  Because of that, I see things a little differently, a little more in focus, and a little less in the lens of the most recent Hollywood celeb dingbat that thinks they know the way things work and how I should think.

My fellow students? Well, I am among a generation dependent on Twitter and social media, Antifa, and righteous indignation at the most fringe cause. Sorry, I really don’t care about snail darters, and I am going to keep eating hamburgers. I just see things as they really are and not as the latest talking head on YouTube tries to convince me what I should believe is the truth. I listen to the arguments and sometimes (most of the time) just have to call bullshit!

With the current kerfuffle between the national emergency declaration and the immediate lawsuits trying to stop it (by the way, I predicted that would happen here on OpsLens), the players in this contest are missing the most important and amusing point. Like a magician, President Trump is forcing the opposition to concentrate on the left hand and fight the national emergency declaration in the courts while they are blind to what he is really doing. They have started on a long journey that will work its way through the court system then all the way up to the Supreme Court where the president may even win. Does it matter? No, not in the least. While the flag bearers of the left rally around their court challenges and protestations that the national emergency is a fiction, President Trump will build the border barrier with funds he can move around, repurpose, and use that are not tied to the national emergency declaration. He has full authority to do this, and by focusing the opposition’s efforts on the decoy that the declaration is, he will achieve the border barrier he has always promised.

The national emergency declaration is needed to access 3.6 billion of military funds, but he can get to $600 million from the Treasury without the national emergency. He can also tap 2.5 billion from drug interdiction funds via the Pentagon. Add that to the $1.4 billion the Congress gave him, and he has what he needs. The fight over the national emergency that so many of the Democrat opposition is pouring so much indignant effort into is a smoke screen. The border barrier is being built.

The opposition —the Democrats— got snookered by the guy that knows how to win a game they can’t even begin to play.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Jon Harris

Jon Harris is a former Army NCO, Sergeant Morales Club member, civilian law enforcement officer, and defense contractor with over 30 years in the law enforcement community. He is published in Army Trainer Magazine, authored regular columns in several newspapers, and is the author of the Cold War novel Breakpoint. His adventures as a security contractor in Afghanistan and Iraq can be found on He holds a B.S. in Government and Politics and an M.S. in Criminal Justice and is currently completing his Juris Doctor degree.

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