Nicandro Iannacci // 12/3/18 //
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will be sentenced on March 5, but additional charges or a presidential pardon are still possible. Former FBI Director James Comey agreed to testify before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees on Friday, ending a legal effort to quash a subpoena. Just a day after the ceremonial signing of a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, President Trump said he would withdraw the U.S. from NAFTA. In a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit, President Trump agreed to delay the imposition of new tariffs and President Xi agreed to increase Chinese purchases of American products. In the coming days, the Trump administration will push to finalize its “Remain in Mexico” plan, by which asylum seekers will have to wait outside the United States while their claims are processed. A federal judge in D.C. denied the Trump administration’s request for a stay on its preliminary injunction against the administration’s ban on transgender people serving in the military.
TRUMP: INVESTIGATIONS & LITIGATION
Former Trump adviser Roger Stone is under scrutiny from Special Counsel Mueller for his ties to Wikileaks (WSJ).
According to top Democrats, Acting AG Matt Whitaker has promised to follow all the “regulations, policies, and procedures” governing the Mueller investigation and to testify before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees (Politico).
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has requested the deployment of civilian law enforcement officers from several Cabinet departments to the border as early as this week (Politico).
A federal judge in New York blocked the Trump administration from withholding law-enforcement grants from “sanctuary cities” for not sharing information with federal immigration authorities (WSJ, The Hill, Reuters).
In the coming days, the Trump administration will push to finalize its “Remain in Mexico” plan, by which asylum seekers will have to wait outside the United States while their claims are processed (WaPo).
As the Trump administration has increased criminal prosecutions for immigration violations, the number of drug prosecutions along the border has decreased (NYT).
A proposal from DHS to revise the H-1B work visa program could result in a decrease in total entries, writes David Bier for Cato at Liberty.
The relatively short history of immigrant detention shows that there are more humane and cost-effective ways to deal with migrants, writes Ana Raquel Minian in The New York Times.
A federal judge in D.C. denied the Trump administration’s request for a stay on its preliminary injunction against the administration’s ban on transgender people serving in the military (The Hill).
The Office of Special Counsel revised its previous guidelines to federal employees on discussions of impeachment and “resistance,” now permitting speech on both topics as long as it does not constitute political advocacy in violation of the Hatch Act (NYT, WaPo).
JUSTICE & SAFETY
A federal appeals court in D.C. upheld the Trump administration’s ban on software from Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab (The Hill).
A rise in civilian casualties caused by U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan is raising questions about U.S. policy governing the approval of strikes, write Jessica Purkiss and Abigail Fielding-Smith at Just Security.
In a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit, President Trump agreed to delay the imposition of new tariffs and President Xi agreed to increase Chinese purchases of American products (NYT, WaPo, WSJ, LAT, Politico).
RULE OF LAW
Six White House officials were reprimanded by the Office of Special Counsel for using official social media accounts to conduct political activity in violation of the Hatch Act (WaPo).
REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
Incoming House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said talk of impeachment is “premature” and Democrats don’t have a case for it (NYT).
Defense Secretary James Mattis said Russia attempted to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections (The Hill).
The Senate Intelligence Committee has referred cases of suspected lying from witnesses in its own Russia probe to Special Counsel Mueller (WaPo).