Yes, Trump Can Order The Deployment Of D.C. Police

280px-Patch_of_the_Metropolitan_Police_Department_of_the_District_of_Columbia.svgThere has been much talk — and anger — over the reports that the Trump Administration has asserted the right to “take over” the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.   The Washington Post is quoting D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham as saying that the mayor “disagrees that the president has the authority to take over the police department. She believes it is a legal question to do that without her consent.” If so, she is mistaken.  It is not a “take over” but it does not require the mayor’s consent.  President Donald Trump can demand the deployment of D.C. police and the mayor is bound by law to accede to the request.

Washington is first and foremost a federal enclave and the creation of Congress.  it is subject to the limits of Home Rule and the federal government has far greater leeway in the use of personnel within its borders than other cities.

The question of such authority turns on Section 1-207.40 which states

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, whenever the President of the United States determines that special conditions of an emergency nature exist which require the use of the Metropolitan Police force for federal purposes, he may direct the Mayor to provide him, and the Mayor shall provide, such services of the Metropolitan Police force as the President may deem necessary and appropriate.”

First and foremost, “emergency” is not clearly defined.  I have been a long critic of Congress creating such sweeping laws without meaningful conditions or criteria. That was the case with the National Emergencies Act, which we discussed in relation to the funding of the Southern border wall.  It is highly doubtful that a court would question whether rioting is an emergency but the law itself seems to leave that designation to the President.

Second, the law is written in mandatory terms without no qualifications. The law gives the President the discretion (“may direct”) and gives the Mayor a mandatory obligation (“shall provide”) the services specified by the President. There is nothing about Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) agreeing or consenting to the demand.  She must provide the services.

The most significant limitation is temporal.

“In no case, however, shall such services made available pursuant to any such direction under this subsection extend for a period in excess of 48 hours unless the President has, prior to the expiration of such period, notified the Chairmen and ranking minority members of the Committees on the District of Columbia of the Senate and the House of Representatives, in writing, as to the reason for such direction and the period of time during which the need for such services is likely to continue.”

Moreover the District often calls upon federal agencies to back up its own crowd control efforts.  For that reason, the resistance of the Mayor could prove both practically and legally dubious.

John Falcicchio, the chief of staff for Mayor Bowser, is quoted as saying that “We believe we are firm in our understanding that what was presented yesterday would not be a prudent move.” Prudence however is not an element to the law.  There is just a demand and an obligation.

This does not technically amount to a “takeover.” The D.C police would retain its command and unit structure.  D.C. is required to perform the designated task, not turn over total control.

Notably, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday referenced the same type of executive control for the very same reason: dissatisfaction with the actions of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and failure to protect businesses and citizens: “The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night, I believe that.” He added that he has the authority “to displace the mayor … bring in the National Guard” and “take over” but did not believe that ‘we’re at that point.”

None of this means that such a move is needed or wise. Indeed, for Washington, it would be viewed as deeply intrusive and insulting. In other words, Bowser may be right that it would not be “prudent” but that does not really matter.

195 thoughts on “Yes, Trump Can Order The Deployment Of D.C. Police”

  1. The Washington, District of Columbia …. is part of no State and therefore, should not be considered a City. It should be treated as a Federal Civilian Base of Operations, just as any Military base is considered.

  2. Great point about a vague law allowing the Feds to order support from the DC city – Pres. Trump orders and DC mayor supplies the DC police.

    The legal part is clear. The wisdom, and what is really “prudent”, is not so clear. The issue for Trump, not written above, is either order the police to stop riots & arrest folk, against the advice of the mayor, or “do nothing” until the mayor asks (or maybe the police chief).

    What is prudent remains unclear until some questions are asked and answered like:
    1) If there is a riot, and no DC cops stop it, how much damage does there have to be before one will say the “wise thing” to do “would have been” for Trump to order more law enforcement action?
    $10 million? $100? 1 dead? 10 dead?

    If you think the riots will cause 10 deaths and $100 million damage, the wise thing is to call for more cops. If it’s less than $10 million, and none die, it’s wise to not call for more cops.

    2) What Trump actions, plus responses, are most likely to get Trump re-elected? In theory, this should depend more on the answers to (1), but in today’s full-of-lies Dem media, where Trump is going to be blamed for all problems whether they are his fault or not, the “wise” thing might be to minimize the blame.
    So, call in the cops no matter what.

    3) Trump’s going to lose DC about 90% – 10% no matter what, therefore the most important electoral issue is how the independents in the swing states view his actions:
    a) they want him to be stronger (send in the marines!), or
    b) they want him to be more careful (wait for DC requests for help). (Many normal Reps would be happy to see DC … burn, baby, burn. Riot inferno )

    The law should be more clear; but likely any clarity would emphasize the Fed. gov’t over the local DC mayor more clearly.

    I think Trump is setting himself up to be, not quite win-win, but min-loss or min-loss from either action.

  3. well now, don’t you know that that chaps the democarap mayors behind having to cow down to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

  4. Another demonstration of stupidity. Military federal and Law Enforcement Federal are under the National Command Authority namely The President.

    Federalizing is required for activating the Guard for federal duty

    State and local law enforcement may not be federalized which is why they are not allowed in the National guard.

    End of subject.

    1. DC is not a state, which is the entire point. It is a creation of the Federal Government.

  5. General Mattis, former Sec of Defense who resigned when Trump stabbed the Kurds in the back:

    “When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.

    We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battlespace” that our uniformed military is called upon to “dominate.” At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them…..

    “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children…..”

    1. so because Trump doesn’t cow down to them he’s not presidential? grow a pair MATTIS. you didn’t care when Bush did the same thing in california. and while we’re on the subject how come you couldn’t end one war overseas in over 15 years! not a good general ! how much did you make off the wars!

    2. what a hypocrite. Mattis like all the brass have been practicie MOUT for decades.

      mattis is a fecal stain. but he has a right to free speech and I don’t make too much out of his ill formed ideas. he’s a private citizen and can say what he pleases

      but Esper? He’s in the chain of command. he should have been fired.

      1. Kurtz, there are at least 6 generals who have denounced Trump’s stupid threats and Lafayette Park maneuver, but you stick with a known idiot and liar lacking all moral fiber instead.

    3. I must have missed the headlines about the 100,000’s of Kurds who died from US troop withdrawals. Or maybe that didnt happen.

  6. Former Defense Secretary Mattis Denounces Trump

    “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”

    Edited From: “James Mattis Denounces Trump, Describes Him As A Threat To The Constitution”

    The Atlantic, 6/3/20

    1. The military murderer who wreaked deaths by the hundreds of thousands on societies overseas preaches…
      Great post, dummy. NOT.

      It’s really amazing. Here is his stupid, idiotic, historically blind last line:
      “At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite.”

      Really, Mattis ? We have to listen to the military wacko POTUS who destroyed the entire nation as a defacto dictator and 618,222 lay dead in the dirt…?

      Mattis is a FOOL. He invokes the civil war dictator of the USA past, all out war coast to coast, “better angels”.

      Seth, how stupid do you feel now ?
      Was Mattis secretly signaling Trump – was that a DOG WHISTLE you left wingers always claim you’re hearing ?

      It was. Mattis invokes a civil war mongers “better angels”. Mattis was overseas destroying entire nations poplaces, now he preaches against Trump then invokes the former destroyer of the entire nation, dead people everywhere, the better angels…

      Mattis wants the top spot – Mattis wants to take the USA into total internal war, again. He must dream about it every night. His better angels. Heck he did it overseas why not here! We need his fixes too.

        1. Kurtz, so what? ..Honestly, ‘so what’..??

          What does that have to do with General Mattis? How does your video vindicate Trump’s absolute failure of leadership through months of endless crises. The world is shocked that America looks so dysfunctional.

            1. Et al:

              It’s past time after decades of Racist Race Baiter’s, white/black/green or blue & their “Peaceful Protesters” committing every crime imaginable, burning etc. (more but what words are now censored hear tonight??) ie: snuffing the former St Louis PD Chief, black.

              For 4 years they told us we should argue “their” “American hatin Commie types”, argue their narratives….

              Russia, Russia, Russia… Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine, the Impeachment, Impeachment, Impeachment, then scream Chinese Flu, Chinese Flu, Chinese Flu… Distory….Our Economy in a few months…

              And now “Their Narrative” is “Peaceful Protesters” are burning down anything they can.

              ( Goodbye former Gen Mattis & another today, & more Reps destroyed even in one day)

              Point Being, let many of us Stop arguing their Narrative & Argue Our Narratives.

              Me, I like the Happy Endings Narratives! 🙂

              1. BTW: Of all they other evil crap the Rioters have done, a story being pushed now is a Rioter has killed a nice looking puppy.

                I’d be very interested in what Dr Stanley would have to say about their behaviour over these crimes.

            2. Yeah, nothing more Macho than guys who worship a fat pussy draft dodger while crying for protection from those mean protesters.

            3. you ever notice they paint their finger nails? a man with painted finger nails!

          1. You can figure it out. You’re smart.

            You should want to understand this, because you wear the white skin too. Like blacks wear the black skin that Floyd wore, we wear the white skin that Timpa and Shaver wore.

            Could have been you or me those cops were laughing at as we died. But for you or me, nobody would riot, nobody protest or light candles. Probably the cops would get sued and pay a big settlement and that would be it.

            Figure it out. It should puzzle you. It puzzles me. Maybe you can explain after you figure it out. Let me know.

            1. Kurtz, if I have to watch a video to know what you’re talking about then you’ve lost me. Tell us what’s on that video and ‘why’ we should care. If you’re a lawyer you can make a case for whatever argument you’re promoting.

        2. I see that, another murder.
          We need a nationwide burn down protest.

          Seth will march with us because White Peoples Lives Matter and the absolution given with presupposition to unrighteous powers in the cultural milieu leave the Founding Race forgotten and trodden upon with impunity and in gaiety because we have been kept silent by the attention and diversion perpetrated through the criers of the old traditional doctrines of an imperfect past trouncing upon the present and denying us our justice !

          HE IS DEAD ! IT’S NOT FUNNY !
          HE IS DEAD ! IT’S NOT FUNNY !

          (make the signs Seth and be ready when you’re called)

        3. Kurtz, that was disturbing and charges should be brought. The reason there were no riots might have to do with the fact the Dallas Police hid the video for 3 years. They were not laughing at him in sadism, but nervously. They kind of adopted him as a buddy once they had him subdued. The Dallas NAACP recently called for an end to this form of restraint and brought up both Timpa and Floyd.

      1. Shakdi you’re the commenter known as Crazed idiot. Crazed Idiot is notable for his nerdiness.

        Here you imagine scoring a series of debate points. But in reality you haven’t made any case to speak of. Nowhere do I see any logical explanation of ‘why’ General Mattis is such a toxic scoundrel. It’s an empty talking point you fire like a blank; only to declare yourself the resounding moral victor. What a nerdy twit you are!

        1. “During his 44 years in the Marine Corps, he commanded forces in the Persian Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War.”

          Seth, you don’t care about brown people.

      2. Your problem is the current Sec of Defense came out against Trump’s phony Macho plan for the military and riots.

        1. I don’t have a problem. I’m trying to form our justice march, that’s what is important now.

          1. Shakdi, you’re phony through and through. Phony name, phony intentions, and phony outrage at General Mattis.

            We’re supposed to think a Trump supporter considers Military Generals to be ‘murderers’? It’s so stupid and childish, you insult every commenter.

            Which makes me wonder if you ‘are’ a foreign troll. You betray a certain disconnect that marks you as a foreigner, or someone mentally challenged.

            1. Look in the mirror dumb dumb. A libber extolling a war monger.
              What did Trump run on mr amnesia ?
              No more stupid foreign war engagements. It’s crap and we got nothing, we didn’t even take the oil, we should have taken the oil.
              So whom is the one telling the truth and not being a 180 degree liar.
              I am, you are not.

              You claim I didn’t make a point and didn’t win, but indeed, I did both. I am correct and you know it. A literal destroyer of nations now preaching – and he like an idiot brings up Lincoln just to get his liberal idiot salve against racism – a total sellout – a moron – invoking a man who destroyed the ground we live on in total war here, as a rebuttal against quelling a few rioters in the streets of big cities – Mattis a man who bombed the crap out of similar overseas for many years.

              I didn’t lose anything. I made my points. I won, and Trump won too. You’re the fool with egg all over your face. You and Mattis. It’s like a recidivist pedophile priest telling joe biden where he can touch children. That’s what you posted, you brain dead doofus partisan.


              1. Shakdi, if Mattis is so incredibly evil, why, in God’s name, did Trump ever appoint him Secretary of Defense?

                If Trump is the genius you seem to think he is, then Trump was right to choose Mattis for that job.

                But Mattis realized Trump is nuts. And that’s why ‘you’ now pretend Mattis is evil.

                1. Seth, a sec of defense is that – your characterization

                  My point was, and is, you’re stupid, like Mattis. We have a war monger that slaughtered 3 nations minimum and invokes mr domestic war, whining about a tiny action against looters and rioters.

                  You’re just as stupid as stupid blabbermouth who Trump fired.

    2. The Romans had generals. Genghis Khan had generals. The Aztecs had generals. The Spanish had generals. The Mexicans had generals. The Nazis had generals. The Soviet Union had generals. The Japanese had generals. The Chinese had generals.

      The Globalist, One-World, Communist Deep Deep State has generals.

    3. Peter – the tip-off is Mattis has to go to The Atlantic, a leftist organ, to get printed.

      1. Paul, from a literary standpoint The Atlantic is fine.

        Are you trying to say that Mattis was obliged to take his story to rightwing media? Like he’s not credible otherwise? If it’s not approved by Fox, then Mattis is a liar?

        1. Peter – this is the same Gen. Mattis.

          While serving in Afghanistan as a brigadier general, Mattis was known[by whom?] as an officer who engaged his men with “real leadership.”[clarification needed] He also was quoted as saying “be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

          1. Paul, what business was Mattis in?

            You phony outrage is almost as dumb as Crazed Idiot’s.

  7. “The Great American Melodrama And COVID-19 Hoax Of 2020” brought to you by One-World Communism, Inc.

    Communist Antifa et al. rioters do not “socially distance.” There is no real and actual need to do so. The “China Flu” has the same effect as other flu’s – the same number of deaths and the same flu symptoms; vulnerable people die.

    COVID-19 statistics now turn out to be as fraudulent and unreliable as the “Climate Change” statistics which were first proven false and malicious in “ClimateGate” at the University of East Anglia.

    Communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) will perpetrate any and all frauds and hoaxes to shut down and destroy the U.S. economy, and replace the government with communism.

    Honest people will stipulate to these serial frauds being nothing more than strategic global campaigns by communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) to acquire power for power’s sake.

    They know no freedom; they know only the “party.”

  8. Liars through and through.

    “The Media Are Lying To You About Everything, Including The Riots”

    The media lied about the Russia collusion hoax, about the Mueller probe, about impeachment, about the coronavirus—and now they’re lying about the riots.

    It seems no great event or upheaval in our national life can pass now without the media lying to our faces about it.

    They lied about the Trump campaign colluding with Russia in 2016. They lied about the Mueller probe and Brett Kavanaugh and former national security adviser Mike Flynn. They lied about Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president and the impeachment farce that ensued. They lied about the coronavirus and the lockdowns and the White House response. And now they’re lying about the riots.

    In recent days we’ve heard a steady drumbeat of lies, distortions, and disingenuousness from the mainstream media about almost every aspect of the unrest now gripping American cities. The deceit is almost too pervasive and amorphous to describe, but I’m going to try anyway.

    Over the weekend we were told, for example, that the looting and violence was being instigated not by left-wing anarchists and antifa groups but by the media’s favorite villains: white supremacists. CNN, whose Atlanta offices were vandalized Friday, went on and on—without a shred of evidence to back it up—about how white supremacists might be infiltrating the protests and stirring up trouble. The New York Times, in a report that even quoted a senior police official in New York City saying outside anarchist groups were coordinating mayhem before the protests began, nevertheless veered into a long aside about how far-right “accelerationists” were hoping the unrest would bring about a long-sought second civil war.

    By Monday, no one was talking about the white supremacist agitators anymore. The media had moved on to better, more plausible lies.

    Here’s Matthew Yglesias of Vox, disingenuously comparing the rioters and looters to pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. His snarky tweet is meant to suggest Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton is a hypocrite for supporting the Hong Kong protesters but calling for the restoration of order at home.

    1. Continuing from above

      “No one should have to point out to Yglesias—or anyone else with a large media platform—that the looters of Minneapolis and the rioters in Philadelphia have nothing in common with the people fighting against an actual communist dictatorship in Hong Kong. Yet here we are.

      This kind of disconnect—what can only be described, at best, as a willful misunderstanding of reality—has been disturbingly commonplace among media pundits and reporters since all this began.

      Here’s NBC News’s Carl Quintanilla doing the same thing, comparing Trump’s positive comments about the peaceful protests of draconian coronavirus lockdown orders in Michigan on May 1 to his comments on Monday to state governors that they need to make arrests and restore order.

      Again, it should go without saying that the Michigan protests last month went off without any looting, rioting, or violence. No one was arrested because no one broke the law. There’s no valid comparison between those Michigan protests and the mass riots over the weekend. Surely Quintanilla knows this, which makes his commentary not just idiotic but deeply dishonest. He doesn’t care about accuracy and genuine insight, he cares about plaudits from woke Twitter—and he got them.

      At every turn we see different iterations of media dishonesty. PBS Newshour’s White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor on Sunday complained that Trump had called the rioters anarchists “without providing any evidence.”

      Had she opened her eyes, Alcindor might have seen the same evidence Trump and everyone else saw: news footage and cell phone videos circulating on social media of black-clad rioters burning and looting shops, attacking shop owners and motorists, and in some cases spray-painting actual anarchist symbols on public property.

      Of course, Alcindor knows full well what the president meant by calling the rioters anarchists. She knows that many of them are indeed anarchists and left-wing provocateurs. We all know it. As mentioned above, the New York Times even reported on it.

      Alcindor’s posture here is part of a broader pattern of opposition to Trump that the media has maintained for years, that whatever might be happening in the country, whether a global pandemic or mass rioting, the most important part of the story is always that Trump is behaving badly—that he’s lying, misleading, undermining democratic norms, tweeting mean things, whatever. Nothing, not even nationwide riots, are more important than pushing that narrative.

      You see the media’s obsession with this narrative everywhere, no matter what the actual facts of a story might be. In Columbia, South Carolina, a man trying to protect his business was attacked and beaten senseless by an angry mob because he dared to call the cops. Yet Maggie Haberman of the New York Times thinks the big takeaway is that the man was described as “white” in a video of the attack that Trump posted about.

      After Trump’s Monday night walk through Lafayette Park to St. John’s Episcopal Church, the media breathlessly reported stories about violent Park Police clearing peaceful protestors with tear gas. After nearly 24 hours of endless tweets, articles, and cable news stories claiming protestors were tear-gassed for Trump’s “photo op,” the Park Police information officer disproved all prior reports confirming, “No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners.”

      The Media Are Playing A Dangerous Game

      One could go on and on with examples like this. Get on Twitter right now and you’re bound to find fresh examples posting every hour as reporters and pundits lie about events that are unfolding in real time.

      Every once in a while, you get a pundit who’s so bad at lying, so unconvincing in his role as a serious newsman, the mask slips. Often, that pundit is CNN’s Don Lemon, a not-very-bright man with a penchant for letting his mask slip—like when he lost it on-air laughing at a stupid joke about how Trump supporters are ignorant rubes.

      On Sunday, as American cities were burning and looters were rampaging through the streets, Lemon implored America, “Open your eyes. We are teetering on a dictatorship.” He didn’t mean a dictatorship of the mob, which would have actually made sense given the facts. No, for Lemon and his CNN colleagues the real threat is Trump, who had the audacity to declare that if mayors and governors couldn’t get their cities under control, he would.

      “Is the president declaring war on America? What is happening here?” asked Lemon, later declaring that Trump is “playing a very dangerous game, because this will backfire.”

      To answer Lemon’s question, what’s happening here is the same thing that’s been happening for years now: the media, not Trump, have declared war on America, they are indeed playing a dangerous game, and it will most certainly backfire.”

    1. The Nation‘s abiding project is attempting to argue Alger Hiss was innocent.

      1. And, of course, Comrade Alger Hiss, State Department Apparatchiks, General Secretary Franklin D. Roosevelt et al. were irrefutably guilty of Felony Aggravated Communism in the First Degree With Malice Aforethought and Special Circumstances.

        “Witness” by Whitaker Chambers is the definitive work on that particular era of high treason, including a profound lesson on American freedom, free enterprise and self-reliance, if any Americans care to discover a modicum of truth.

  9. For those following the Flynn case, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments re: the writ of mandamus for June 12.

    1. Delete from the URL anything after the forward slash / ? as it is not necessary to locate the webpage to which you are indicating.

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