Trump’s emergency powers worry some senators, legal experts

That prompted 10 senators to look into how sweeping Trump believes his emergency powers are.

They have asked to see this administration’s Presidential Emergency Action Documents, or PEADs. The little-known, classified documents are essentially planning papers.

The documents don’t give a president authority beyond what’s in the Constitution. But they outline what powers a president believes that the Constitution gives him to deal with national emergencies. The senators think the documents would provide them a window into how this White House interprets presidential emergency powers.

“Somebody needs to look at these things,” Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said in a telephone interview. “This is a case where the president can declare an emergency and then say, ‘Because there’s an emergency, I can do this, this and this.’”