In a news conference, New York City Corporation Counsel Jim Johnson said the city is taking legal action now because the Trump administration has taken “concrete steps” and begun including the “anarchist” designation in applications for federal grants.
“There is no basis in law, there is no basis in fact, for this anarchist determination, and yet they are going to use it to determine who does and who does not get federal funding,” he said.
The complaint will be filed in Seattle, according to Johnson, who cited the deployment of federal troops in “battledress uniforms in western cities” as his reason why Seattle is the “appropriate” place for the filing.
Johnson maintained that the Trump administration is stepping “way over their bounds,” adding that Congress “controls the power of the purse, not the Trump administration.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio at Thursday’s news conference called Trump’s threat a “totally political action” that threatens the lives of New Yorkers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s morally wrong, it’s legally unacceptable, it’s unconstitutional, and we’re going to fight it,” the Democratic mayor said, adding later that he’s “confident of victory in this case.”
Johnson said the city is at risk of losing an excess of $12 billion in funding.