AG Ferguson sues to block Trump administration from diverting money for border wall

AG Ferguson sues to block Trump administration from diverting money for border wall

President Donald Trump tours a section of the southern border wall, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Otay Mesa, Calif. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

SEATTLE — Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Thursday filed a lawsuit to block the Trump Administration from using funding for military construction projects to pay for a wall along the Mexican border.

The administration's plan to "reprogram" $3.6 billion in funding would divert about $89 million from the Kitsap Peninsula's Bangor submarine base, Ferguson said.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

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"President Trump's misuse of his presidential emergency powers to accomplish an ideological political goal is an egregious abuse of power that should concern all Americans, regardless of how you feel about Donald Trump or immigration," Ferguson said in a news release. "Our nation's founders enshrined our system of checks and balances in our Constitution. President Trump's actions threaten to undermine that system. We will not allow that to happen."

Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved the use of $3.6 billion in funding from military construction projects to build 175 miles of wall along the Mexican border.

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"The president promised that Mexico would pay for his vanity border project, but instead it is U.S. military members, their families, and their communities who are paying for it. I support Attorney General Ferguson's actions and I stand with him on this, as I have with every other lawsuit his office has filed and won against this president," Gov. Jay Inslee said in the news release.

The Bangor submarine base was created in 2004 when the former Naval Station Bremerton merged with Naval Submarine Base Bangor.

The $88.96 million for the submarine base is designed to build a "pier and maintenance facility at the base, complete with a boat shop, small-craft fueling station and storage tank, and permanent berthing for two 250-foot blocking vessels," Ferguson's office said.

On Wednesday, Trump toured a section of the border wall in San Diego's Otay Mesa area and called it a "world-class security system."

Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, also defended the project, dismissing critics who call it the "president's vanity wall."

"I'm here to tell you that's false," he said, telling reporters that Trump reached out to border experts to find out what they needed. "You listened to the agents," he told Trump.

Information from the Associated Press is included in this report