Karen Kadish  //  8/10/18  //  Daily Update


President Trump’s legal team have made a counteroffer to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s proposed terms for an interview between Mr. Mueller and President Trump. The proposed terms would allow questioning on Russian collusion, but would limit inquiries regarding obstruction of justice. The National Association of Immigration Judges filed a labor grievance on Wednesday, accusing the Department of Justice of undermining their autonomy by reassigning cases in order to maximize deportations. The Senate Judiciary Committee released the first set of documents from Brett Kavanaugh’s time in the George W. Bush White House. Foreign lobbyists and their agents have spent over $530 million influencing US policy and public opinion since January, 2017.

  

TRUMP: LITIGATION AND INVESTIGATION

Confirming Brett Kavanaugh could have serious implications for the Mueller investigation, because Kavanaugh historically has not favored limitations on executive power, says Nina Totenberg on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Paul Manafort’s trial continued today with testimony from IRS Agent Michael Welsh.

  • Welsh told jurors that Manafort failed to declare more than $16 million in income over a five-year span. (WSJ)
  • Federal prosecutors have filed a complaint that the judge presiding over the trial has been unfairly critical of the prosecution, prompting the judge to apologize and instruct the jury to disregard the judge’s criticisms. (Fox News; CNN)

President Trump’s legal team have made a counteroffer to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s proposed terms for an interview between Mr. Mueller and President Trump. The proposed terms would allow questioning on Russian collusion, but would limit inquiries regarding obstruction of justice. (WSJ)

 

IMMIGRATION 

The National Association of Immigration Judges filed a labor grievance on Wednesday, accusing the Department of Justice of undermining their autonomy by reassigning cases in order to maximize deportations, reports Refael Bernal at The Hill.

Following lawsuits by soldiers, the Army is suspending discharges of foreign-born recruits who enlisted as part of a special military program that put them on the path for U.S. citizenship (WaPo; NYT).

The Federal District Court in Houston, Texas heard arguments about the legitimacy of DACA and whether it overstepped President Obama’s executive authority, reports Vivian Yee at The New York Times.

 

DEMOCRACY

CREW summarizes the fourteen federal investigations into Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, several of which have been forced to close due to Zinke’s lack of proper records.

 

JUSTICE & SAFETY

Because the United States has reimposed sanctions against Iran, Tehran has refused to speak with the Trump administration and may try to use their position to gain additional concessions, writes Suzanne Maloney at Lawfare.

Vice President Pence spoke about the Trump Administration’s plans to add a “Space Force” to the Department of Defense. This speech coincided with a Pentagon report about how a space force would be structured (Ars Technica; NYT).

National security officials worked behind the scenes to ensure that last month’s NATO meeting would not result in President Trump upending a formal policy agreement and that crucial policy concerns – such as improving allied defenses against Russia – would go through, report Helene Cooper and Julian E. Barnes at The New York Times.

 

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Jim Tankersley analyzes how one Russian firm – led by Oleg Deripaska, a friend of Paul Manafort – managed to get an exemption to U.S. aluminum tariffs instituted by President Trump, only to lose that exemption earlier this week. (NYT)

 

REGULATION

New NAFTA talks will focus on issues such as auto trade, seasonal growers, performance reviews for the trade agreement, write Inu Manak and Simon Lester at the Cato Institute.

The Ninth Circuit ordered the EPA to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that is linked with developmental disabilities and other health problems in children, overturning the EPA’s decision to reject just such a ban in March 2017, reports Eric Lipton at The New York Times.

 

CHECKS & BALANCES

The Senate Judiciary Committee released the first set of documents from Brett Kavanaugh’s time in the George W. Bush White House, reports Jordain Carney at The Hill.

  • The documents are available here.

 

REMOVAL FROM OFFICE

Comments by David Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, highlight the political concerns Congress Republicans are balancing with the upcoming confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh and other party members’ push to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. (NBC)

 

RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE

Foreign lobbyists and their agents have spent over $530 million influencing US policy and public opinion since January, 2017, writes Rick Hasen at Election Law Blog.

Florida senator Bill Nelson claims that Russia has “penetrated” some of Florida’s election systems ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, reports Olivia Beavers at The Hill.

 

 


Daily Update | March 20, 2019

3/20/19  //  Daily Update

White House lawyers want an opportunity to claim executive privilege and review Robert Mueller's report before it reaches lawmakers and the public. Search warrants obtained in the New York case against President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen were unsealed. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard argument in an anti-corruption case against President Trump regarding his violations of the Constitution's emoluments clauses. The Supreme Court’s latest opinion adds to a string of decisions with sweeping views of ICE’s power to confine migrants. Federal judges have ruled against the Trump administration 63 times over the past two years.

Abigail DeHart

Michigan Law School

Daily Update | March 19, 2019

3/19/19  //  Daily Update

If the federal appeals court allows the Emoluments Clauses challenge against President Trump to move forward, he may be forced to disclose financial information related to his businesses. In addition to reviewing the statutory issues concerning the 2020 census citizenship question, the Supreme Court will also review the constitutional issue. DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen declared that the United States is not prepared to handle foreign cyber attacks but is taking steps to identify and combat these threats. The Department of Defense produced a fact sheet listing all military projects from which funding could potentially be diverted to build the southern border wall. Democratic congressional leaders requested the FBI open an investigation into Chinese American executive, Li Yang, for misusing her personal ties to President Trump.

Mackenzie Walz

University of Michigan Law School

Daily Update | March 18, 2019

3/18/19  //  Daily Update

President Trump issued his first veto, rejecting legislation to overturn his declaration of a national emergency to fund a border wall. President Trump encouraged House Republicans to vote in favor of a resolution calling on the Justice Department to make Robert Mueller’s final report public. Paul Manafort has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury in connection with a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme. The Trump Administration has issued orders to put into effect next month new limitations on service in the military by transgender individuals. The Trump administration is considering sending a volunteer emergency response team to assist with security and humanitarian efforts at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Hilary Robin Rosenthal

Columbia Law School