Mackenzie Walz  //  12/3/19  //  Daily Update

Impeachment wrangling continues. There is noteworthy commentary about executive privilege and the nature of impeachment inquiries. And a federal appeals court denies DOJ's request to lift a stay that has halted planned executions of four federal inmates.



Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo condemned the House Judiciary Committee for holding impeachment hearings while President Trump is abroad (WaPo).

  • Present Trump also complained about the occurrence of these hearings specifically while he attends the NATO summit (WaPo).

The White House’s impeachment strategy consists of no defense except President Trump’s usual defense of declaring a process unfair when it doesn’t go his way, contends Paul Waldman for The Washington Post.

  • The White House’s letter refusing to participate in the House impeachment hearing scheduled for December 4th is available here.

An indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani requested a New York federal court to release the materials seized during his arrest to the House impeachment investigation committees (The Hill).

  • The DOJ said it would not stop him from cooperating with the investigation (WaPo).

The ranking members of the House committees managing the impeachment inquiry released a report on the investigation, declaring it an “orchestrated campaign” (LawFare).

  • The report is available here.



Sanctions on Iran have fueled protests throughout the country but have not furthered US goals of renegotiating the nuclear deal or scaling back malign actions in the Middle Eastdiscusses David Sanger for The New York Times.



President Trump’s impulsive imposition of tariffs undercuts his goal of encouraging businesses to invest in the US, argues Henry Olsen for The Washington Post.



The recent district court opinion requiring the White House Counsel to testify before Congress rejected absolute immunity for presidential aides, but did not reject the assertion of executive privilege on a case by case basis, explains Michael Dorf for Dorf on Law.

  • The district court denied a motion by the DOJ to stay this decision (Lawfare).

 A federal appeals court denied the DOJ’s request to lift the district court stays of four federal executions (The Hill).



President Trump’s presidency is demonstrating that the Founders’ response to the presidency of a demagogue  – congressional impeachment – is limiteddiscusses Bob Bauer for The New York Times.

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