What powers does the President have to control order? A look at the Insurrection Act | Just the FAQs

President Trump threatened to implement the Insurrection Act to quell protests. What are the limits to his power and could he implement martial law?


Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday he opposes using the U.S. military to quiet domestic unrest in a break with President Donald Trump who threatened to deploy federal troops to "dominate the streets."

"I say this not only as secretary of defense, but also as a former soldier, and a former member of the National Guard: The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now," Esper said. "I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act."

Two administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Trump was angry over Esper’s comments and felt like the defense secretary left the impression it was his decision on whether to invoke the Insurrection Act.

» Subscribe to USA TODAY:
» Watch more on this and other topics from USA TODAY:
» USA TODAY delivers current local and national news, sports, entertainment, finance, technology, and more through award-winning journalism, photos, videos and VR.


    1. Tim E. That’s what I’m saying, it’s a government FOR THE PEOPLE. Meaning we have an affect on the government A LOT.

    2. @Tim E. ———— _WAS_ ————–
      we also _HAD_ the concept of *checks and balances* neither branch has worked faithfully within that framework for decades.

    1. From what I see since the democrats started rioting. And the democrats in charge let them murder innocent people without fear of arrest.

      So 10 day’s ago? Giver or take.

    2. hmmm, I thought that those 4 cops were arrested… But yeah, that is huge gap in democrats policies to let them kill innocent people without fear of arrest.

    3. @iron man that is the Chicago for its nearly two centuries of existence — and a contentious place under whichever ‘native’ tribe held sway before being incorporated in the 1830’s

  1. Only two choices , Be lazy we get martial law, move around and use the second amendment as intended against tyranny we get civil war, choose wise 🇺🇸

    1. We should be using the 2A on the people burning down our cities. The government is looting Nike’s and burning down peoples homes or federal property.

    2. Now that’s a fucken comment! Wish I’d seen more of you on, all these videos coming out lately

  2. He should keep his promise to federally legalize marijuana. That will keep police from harassing people nationwide and increase nationwide revenue by BILLIONS. #JustAThought

    1. I will clap ’til the end of time for this. Also I read that “billions” in Trumps voice

  3. The left is terrified that Trump has the power to stop their riots, if he chooses to do so.

    1. Haha nope. It will only make it worse for you scared alt. Right snowflakes. Trump already prooved he’s scared by running down in the bunk hinding under a bed then buliding a pillow fort outside of the whitehouse

    2. @Jack Mechak Obama’s bunker. Remember when Obama built a wall around the white house cause one guy tried to climb the fence? 2014 cause he was scared of one scrawny guy.

    3. @Jack Mechak this went through my mind as I was reading your post

      Whoa thought it was a nightmare
      Lord it was so true
      They told me don’t go walking slow
      The devil’s on the loose
      Better run to the bunker
      Better run to the bunker
      Better run to the bunker

  4. Wow, I’m shocked to see this on a main stream news source. Hopefully this is just a “fun fact”… 😅

    1. These people are not my own. I’ll bear arms if my commander and chief deem it necessary of me.

    1. Martial Law will avoid a civil war. If mayors won’t stop the burning and looting, and the Feds won’t stop the burning and looting, the people will. Last poll showed 58% want the military to intervene. Mayors are refusing to do their jobs, someone needs to do it.

    2. @Eric w Eric your mother says the hot pockets are ready and she wants you upstairs cause it bedtime and she says the boogaloo boys have to go home.

    3. @Eric w that’s what they want you to think. This is why people are now BEGGING the military to step in. And who wouldn’t, what with all the bullshit reports saying people over there in Seattle are extorting people, violent protesters are attacking police FOR NO REASON, and they’re looting and rioting on top of that when videos show the police instigating violence and destroying their OWN police cars.

  5. She takes “Trump army” literally!!! Maám have you ever heard of a metaphor/simile/analogy?

  6. Commander in Chief “supreme command of the countries armed forces” 😱😱😱😱I hate facts!

  7. they better pray the insurrection act saves their lives. If this the government dose nothing it will be up to unorganized militia to exercise our right to suppress insurrection and retake annexed territory. We wont give them quarter.

  8. It was all planned, the leftists want the people to start rioting just so they can start their New World Order Agenda and Martial Law.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.