Hetali Lodaya  //  12/11/19  //  Daily Update

The House announces two articles of impeachment. A California court blocks a rule change to the citizenship process for legal permanent residents, and a Texas court blocks the President from using military funds for a border wall. Meanwhile, the Fourth Circuit lifts an injunction in the "public charge rule" immigration case, but a nationwide injunction remains in place because of the decision of a New York court.



The House announced two articles of impeachment: one for abuse of power, and one for obstruction of Congress. (NYT)

  • The articles are here.

The choice of articles represents a series of strategic choices, write Scott R. Anderson, Susan Hennessey, Quinta Jurecic, Margaret Taylor, and Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare.

These two articles are more than enough, writes Rick Hasen at Slate.

The choice of articles reflects a particular worldview that not everyone may share, argues Josh Blackman at The Atlantic. 

The charge of abuse of power should focus on the ways in which the president has usurped Congress’ spending power, argues Ilya Somin at Reason.



The president has paid out $2 million as part of a settlement in a case brought in New York State charging that his foundation misused charitable funds. (The Hill)

DOJ is not going to oppose former Trump aide Rick Gates’s request for probation. (The Hill)

Lisa Page is suing the DOJ and the FBI over privacy violations regarding their release of text messages between her and another former FBI agent. (The Hill)

  • The complaint is here.

Michael Avenatti is asking for evidence about his spending habits and debt to be excluded from discussion at his trial on extortion charges. (WaPo)



A district court in California granted an injunction preventing USCIS from implementing changes to the citizenship process for lawful permanent residents, which would have included the elimination of a means-tested fee waiver. (ImmigrationProfBlog)

A federal judge in Texas granted an injunction against the president blocking his use of military funds for a border wall. (The Hill)

The Fourth Circuit has stayed an injunction on the administration’s proposed public charge rule, mirroring a Ninth Circuit decision last week. (ImmigrationProfBlog)



The president plans to sign an executive order defining Judaism as a nationality in order to combat anti-Israel boycotts on college campuses. (WaPo)



A Justice Department watchdog review of the federal investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election found no evidence of political bias in the FBI decision to initiate its probe, though it did indicate inaccuracies in various FBI applications for warrants during the investigation. (WaPo)

  • The key findings of the report are here.

The president claims that the report offers evidence that the investigation was an abuse of power. (Politico)

Attorney General Barr disagrees with the conclusion that the FBI had sufficient justification to open the probe. (WSJ)

FBI Director Christopher Wray has announced corrective steps the Bureau will take in response to the report. (The Hill)

The Justice Department report reveals that Attorney General Barr is using delegated authority to declassify documents in an unprecedented way, writes J. William Leonard at Just Security. 



Daily Update | December 23, 2019

12/23/19  //  Daily Update

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seek to leverage uncertainties in the rules for impeachment to their advantage. White House officials indicated that President Trump threatened to veto a recent spending bill if it included language requiring release of military aid to Ukraine early next year. The DHS OIG said that it found “no misconduct” by department officials in the deaths of two migrant children who died in Border Patrol custody last year. And the FISA court ordered the Justice Department to review all cases that former FBI official Kevin Clinesmith worked on.

Emily Morrow

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | December 20, 2019

12/20/19  //  Daily Update

Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated the House will be “ready” to move forward with the next steps once the Senate has agreed on ground rules, but the House may withhold from sending the articles to the Senate until after the new year. Commentary continues about the Fifth Circuit's mixed decision on the status of the ACA.

Emily Morrow

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | December 19, 2019

12/19/19  //  Daily Update

The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump. Some Democrats urge House leaders to withhold the articles to delay a trial in the Senate. Meanwhile, the Fifth Circuit issues an inconclusive decision about the future of the ACA, and DHS and DOJ proposed a new rulemaking to amend the list of crimes that bar relief for asylum seekers.

Emily Morrow

Harvard Law School