Nicandro Iannacci  //  12/4/19  //  Daily Update


The House Intelligence Committee released its impeachment inquiry report, accusing President Trump of soliciting foreign interference in the 2016 election (NYTWaPoWSJPOLITICO). 

  • The report is here.
  • The report details close contact about Ukraine between the White House and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani (NYTWaPoWSJ).
  • Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) says the President’s actions meet the constitutional definition of bribery (WaPo).
  • So does Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) (WaPo).
  • It’s certainly plausible that the president committed bribery, write Samuel Estreicher and Christopher Owens at Verdict.
  • The president has repeatedly solited foreign interference, and there’s no reason to think he’ll stop, writes Kate Brannen at Just Security.

The House Judiciary Committee will hold its first impeachment hearing on Wednesday, featuring four legal scholars on impeachment (POLITICO).

For his defense, President Trump is relying chiefly on White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and in-house lawyers, not his personal lawyers (WaPo).

As a defense of the president, Senate Republicans are increasingly embracing the unsupported theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election (NYT). 

House Democrats are considering the inclusion of issues beyond Ukraine in eventual articles of impeachment (WaPo). 

  • Democrats may need to persuade the public of the merits of the nation’s first non-criminal “abuse of power” impeachment, writes Stephen Griffin at Balkinization.



The Second Circuit ordered Deutsche Bank and Capital One to comply with congressional subpoenas for President Trump’s financial records, giving him one week to seek review from the Supreme Court (WaPoWSJPOLITICOThe Hill). 

  • The ruling is here.

Newly obtained documents reveal details about key events investigated by the Mueller probe (NYT).



The consulting firm McKinsey & Company has advised ICE on carrying out its draconian immigration policies (NYTProPublica).



DHS is proposing a new regulation to require all travelers visiting or entering the U.S. to be photographed (The Hill).

The president’s designation of Mexican cartels as terrorist organizations could have unintended negative consequences on a range of issueswritesIoan Grillo at The New York Times.

The president’s handling of the Gallagher case, among others, suggests that presidents should be legally restrained from using the pardon power on behalf of service members convicted of war crimeswrites Lt. Col. Dan Maurer at Lawfare.



President Trump said he may wait until after the 2020 election to reach a trade agreement with China (WaPoWSJ).

DOE Secretary Betsy DeVos suggested that the Federal Student Aid office should be a standalone agency (WaPo).

Dr. Stephen Hahn, the president’s nominee to lead the FDA, was approved by the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee (NYT).

The HHS patent lawsuit against Gilead, the maker of PreP, could set novel precedent in drug patent litigation and expand access to the drugwrites Phebe Hong at Bill of Health.

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