Nicandro Iannacci  //  12/18/19  //  Daily Update

The House will vote on Articles of Impeachment. Elsewhere, the Trump Administration proposed new rules related to organ donation.



The House of Representatives will vote to impeach President Trump (NYT, WaPo). 

The president wrote a six-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, objecting to the entire impeachment inquiry (NYT, WSJ, POLITICO).

  • The letter is here.

On the eve of the historic vote, protests in favor of impeachment took place across the country (NYT). 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) rejected a request from Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to subpoena new witnesses for the impeachment trial (WaPo, POLITICO). 

  • McConnell and Schumer are much less important to the proceedings than the existing procedural rules, Chief Justice John Roberts, and the parties themselves, writes David Super at Balkinization. 

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) says Vice President Mike Pence is refusing to declassify information “directly relevant” to the impeachment inquiry (WaPo). 

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has bragged in interviews that he “forced” out former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch (WaPo).

The current U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor will leave his post at the beginning of the new year (WaPo, WSJ) 

  • Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) criticized the State Department for recalling the ambassador (WaPo).

Seven legal experts weigh in on whether President Trump committed bribery (Vox). 

Republicans that support impeachment and find the political courage to vote in favor may still survive reelection, write Jon Meacham and Michael E. Shepherd in The Washington Post

President Trump’s naked unilateralism poses a grave threat to national security, writes Harold Hongju Koh at Just Security.

With impeachment, we are on the verge of a constitutional breakdown, and it’s surprising it didn’t happen sooner, writes Neil Buchanan at Dorf on Law. 

The president’s impeachment defense may have harmful consequences for the Ukraine whistleblower and all whistleblowers, write Stephen M. Kohn, Michael D. Kohn, and David K. Colapinto at The Hill.



House Democrats filed a notice of appeal to the D.C. Circuit in a lawsuit to obtain President Trump’s tax returns (POLITICO, The Hill). 

Former Trump aide Rick Gates was sentenced to 45 days jail for participation in financial crimes and lying to investigators (NYT, WSJ, BuzzFeed News, POLITICO, The Hill). 

A federal judge ruled that Ukrainian businessman and Giuliani associate Lev Parnas may remain on house arrest until his case is resolved (WaPo, POLITICO).



President Trump said Guatemala is helping to reduce the number of asylum seekers in the U.S. after the countries signed a “safe third country” agreement in July (WaPo).



The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court criticized the FBI’s surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and ordered the FBI to propose changes to how it seeks permission for surveillance (NYT, WaPo, WSJ, POLITICO). 

  • The court’s order is here.



The Trump administration proposed new rules governing organ collection agencies in an effort to increase organ availability (WaPo, WSJ).

The administration’s new restrictions on SNAP eligibility will hurt families and small businesses, writes Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) in The Hill.



House Democrats say HHS is stonewalling their investigation of Medicare and Medicaid chief Seema Verma’s extensive use of PR consultants (POLITICO). 

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