Though President Trump’s team has suggested that he did not have authority to intervene against the Anarchist seizure of Seattle, his advisors appear to be in error. The U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 4 reads: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.” The Framers evidently did not anticipate that state governors or legislatures would choose to neglect their duties to protect state residents, but such lack of action gives the President authority to act by default.
Anarchists and BLM militants from all over the United States invaded the State of Washington and openly seized part of the territory of Seattle, establishing an arbitrary and totalitarian administration therein; they enforced their rule by means of direct violence and intimidation. These facts alone gave President Trump enough cause to federalize the Washington National Guard for use against the anarchists, or to deploy Federal Marshals, or both, in order to restore law and order.
It is a little disappointing that patriotic American motorcyclists were more prepared to act to rescue U.S. citizens from marauding anarchists and looting BLM militants, than the President was.
Mr. Trump is very skilled at playing the long game, but this particular occasion called for more resolute action.
Mr. Cloutier is the author of Mussolini’s War in Spain 1936-1939. Italian Intervention in the Spanish Civil War.