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 | December 18, 2018

12/18/18  //  Daily Update

Two business associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn were indicted for conspiring to serve as unregistered foreign agents of Turkey and lying to federal investigators. Congressional Republicans continue to attempt to convince President Trump not to shut down the government if there is no funding allocated for a border wall. Democrats in Michigan have turned to Governor Rick Snyder in hopes of blocking Republican legislation that would strip significant authority from the Democratic Secretary of State and Attorney General. An official statement from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs sharply criticized the United States Senate for claiming that crown prince Mohammed bin Salman was at least partially responsible for the death of Jamal Khashoggi. The Senate Intelligence Committee released two reports on Russian social media activity during the 2016 election. Russian disinformation teams targeted special counsel Robert Mueller with claims that he was corrupt and had ties to extremist groups.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | December 17, 2018

12/17/18  //  Daily Update

A federal district judge in Texas struck down the Affordable Care Act after the Trump administration declined to defend the law. Nearly every organization that President Trump has led in the past decade is under criminal investigation. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke resigned after allegations of financial misconduct. Two years after its publication, many of the claims in the Steele dossier have been confirmed by other investigations. Kim Jong-un publicly warned that increased sanctions from the United States could end any chance of North Korean denuclearization. The Trump administration has aggressively sought to expedite high-profile cases to the Supreme Court in the hopes of securing victories from its conservative majority. A new report prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee reveals that Russian government support for President Trump on social media was more widespread than previously known.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | December 14, 2018

12/14/18  //  Daily Update

President Trump claimed he “never directed Michael Cohen to break the law,” and publicly criticized his former attorney following Cohen’s sentence to three years in jail. A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock after being taken into Border Patrol custody a week ago according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The United States Senate voted 56 to 41 to withdraw American military assistance to Saudi Arabia in Yemen, going against President Trump’s defense of the nation following the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed two requests at the Supreme Court asking it to stay injunctions from three lower courts on the Trump administration’s ban on transgender individuals from serving in the military. National security advisor John Bolton outlined a new strategy for the The Trump administration in Africa aimed primarily at opposing China. Maria Butina pled guilty to conspiracy to act as a foreign agent, and agreed to cooperate with with federal prosecutors going forward.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School