Joe Biden has just signed an executive order declaring a “national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security” of the United States posed by activities of the Russian government. He’s also expelling ten Russian officials as the Biden-Harris administration slapped new sanctions on the country.
Biden tells Congress he's "declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States posed by specified harmful foreign activities of the Government of the Russian Federation." pic.twitter.com/5EbOcEMTrF
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) April 15, 2021
“Today, we announced actions to hold the Russian Government to account for the SolarWinds intrusion, reports of bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, and attempts to interfere in the 2020 U.S. elections,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
The White House also released a letter to Congress stating that the president has issued “an Executive Order declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States posed by specified harmful foreign activities of the Government of the Russian Federation.”
The letter said that Russia had aimed to “undermine the conduct of free and fair democratic elections,” engaged in “malicious cyber-enabled activities,” targeted journalists and dissenters outside of its borders, and violated international law.
This, Biden said in the letter, constitutes “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”
Now, I have no issue with Biden doing things to hold Russia in check. Russia has been a malign influence on our politics for decades. Russia has been behind the promotion of leftist groups and political protests against the advancement and the stability of the United States, frankly, since the 1930s. They are on the move in the Arctic and in Ukraine, among other places. President Donald Trump was ready and checking them.
The question I have is more about Biden, what is being said and done here with this, and why now.
First, the declaration of a “national emergency” enables Biden to use powers he wouldn’t normally have.
So let’s listen to what The Atlantic said about it when they thought it could be employed by President Donald Trump:
The moment the president declares a “national emergency”—a decision that is entirely within his discretion—more than 100 special provisions become available to him. While many of these tee up reasonable responses to genuine emergencies, some appear dangerously suited to a leader bent on amassing or retaining power. For instance, the president can, with the flick of his pen, activate laws allowing him to shut down many kinds of electronic communications inside the United States or freeze Americans’ bank accounts. Other powers are available even without a declaration of emergency, including laws that allow the president to deploy troops inside the country to subdue domestic unrest.
As we look around today and see the Democrats making all kinds of moves to grab more power, such terminology makes me wonder just exactly what is being contemplated here.
Second, as I wrote earlier today, this announcement comes with the inclusion of something that Biden’s team essentially already walked back – the Russian bounties story. Yet, here Blinken suggests that this decision is in part based on something that wasn’t real to begin with. Plus, once again, they’re pushing the false story.
Third, where is his reaction to China and what China did in regard to its cover-up and lies over the Wuhan coronavirus? One might think that and the threat from China right now over their aggressive moves in Taiwan for example might be a concern but that seems to have gone missing.
Meanwhile, Biden apparently believes that what’s happening at our border isn’t even a crisis, much less a national emergency.