Nicandro Iannacci  //  4/12/19  //  Daily Update


President Trump echoed AG Bill Barr in claiming that “spying” on the president’s 2016 campaign took place. According to DHS officials and newly obtained email messages, the White House considered transporting immigrant detainees to “sanctuary cities” and Democratic jurisdictions as retaliation against the president’s opponents. The DOE is accused of dragging its feet in implementing a Obama-era special education regulation. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London and indicted by the DOJ. Former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig was indicted for misleading federal investigators about his lobbying work for the Ukrainian government. Former lobbyist David Bernhardt was confirmed as Secretary of the Interior.

 

TRUMP: INVESTIGATIONS & LITIGATION

President Trump echoed AG Bill Barr in claiming that “spying” on the president’s 2016 campaign took place (WSJ).

  • Former FBI Director James Comey said he was not aware of any electronic surveillance of the campaign (NYT).
  • Barr’s comments about “spying” were “indefensible,” writes Ben Wittes at Lawfare.

Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein defended AG Barr’s handling of the Mueller Report, saying Barr is being “as forthcoming as he can.” (WSJ

  • The public deserves to see the Report with as few redactions as possible, writes Jennesa Calvo-Friedman for the ACLU.

 

IMMIGRATION

According to DHS officials and newly obtained email messages, the White House considered transporting immigrant detainees to “sanctuary cities” and Democratic jurisdictions as retaliation against the president’s opponents (WaPo).

ICE official Matthew Albence will take over for Ron Vitiello as the acting director of the agency (BuzzFeed News).

 

CIVIL RIGHTS

The DOE is accused of dragging its feet in implementing a Obama-era special education regulation (Disability Scoop).

 

JUSTICE & SAFETY

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London and indicted by the DOJ (NYT, WSJ).

  • The indictment is here.
  • The indictment is a threat to press freedom, write Jameel Jaffer and Ben Wizner at Just Security.
  • The indictment’s impact on press freedom may ultimately be limited, says First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams (CNN). 

Former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig was indicted for misleading federal investigators about his lobbying work for the Ukrainian government (WaPo, WSJ, BuzzFeed News, Politico, The Hill).

  • The indictment is here.

In a welcome change from Jeff Sessions, AG Barr appears to favor a federalism-based approach to marijuana policy, writes Jeffrey Singer for Cato at Liberty.

 

REGULATION 

A new OMB policy broadens the scope of federal rules that can be reviewed by the White House and by Congress through the Congressional Review Act (NYT, WSJ).

  • The memo outlining the policy is here.

Former lobbyist David Bernhardt was confirmed as Secretary of the Interior (NYT, WSJ, BuzzFeed News, Politico).

  • Ethics concerns continue to swirl around the new secretary, write Virginia Canter and Linnaea Honl-Stuenkel for CREW.

 


Daily Update | May 24, 2019

5/24/19  //  Daily Update

President Trump issued a memorandum granting Attorney General Barr sweeping authority in his audit of the Russian interference investigation. A court date has been set by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the mounting subpoena case over access to the President’s financial records. The Justice Department has argued that Congress lacks the ability to sue Trump over appropriating military funds for constructing his border wall.

Daily Update | May 22, 2019

5/22/19  //  Daily Update

The power struggle between the Trump Administration and Congress continues: The Democratic House moves towards impeachment, while two federal judges reject the President’s assertions of privilege. The President will appoint Ken Cuccinelli, a former Virginia attorney general and vocal anti-immigration hardliner, as his new immigration czar.

Adam Smith

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | May 21, 2019

5/21/19  //  Daily Update

The White House instructed former counsel Donald McGahn to ignore a subpoena from House Democrats to testify on Tuesday morning, citing an OLC opinion. A federal judge in DC upheld a subpoena from House Democrats to accounting firm Mazars for President Trump’s financial records. ICE is detaining more than 52,000 immigrants in jails around the country, an apparent all-time record. Assisted reproductive technology may disrupt traditional ideas about maternity on which abortion law and discourse rests. President Trump said he currently sees no threatening actions from Iran, but that the U.S. “will have no choice” but to respond if that changes. The president’s stated preference for acting cabinet secretaries is bad governance and bad for national security. The EPA plans to change how it calculates the health risks of air pollution, resulting in fewer projected deaths from the rollback of the Clean Power Plan.

Nicandro Iannacci

Columbia Law School