Mackenzie Walz  //  12/6/18  //  Daily Update


DOJ prosecutors have begun interviewing witnesses about two Washington lobbying firms linked to Paul Manafort. Domestic law enforcement agencies have become increasingly militarized over the years, but the Trump Administration is accelerating this militarization. The DOJ filed a memorandum in the litigation over the release of the Carter Page FISA, arguing it should not be assumed that President Trump’s Twitter statements concerning the matter are accurate or based on the President’s knowledge of the situation. After President Trump was elected in 2016, Saudi lobbyists reserved rooms for an estimated 500 nights at President Trump’s D.C. hotel to house the veterans in an unorthodox campaign they funded. President Trump’s Executive Order closing the federal government on Wednesday December 5th “as a mark of respect” for the passing of President George H.W. Bush violates the text of an 1893 statute.

 

TRUMP: INVESTIGATIONS & LITIGATION

DOJ prosecutors have begun interviewing witnesses about two Washington lobbying firms linked to Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager and a subject of the Special Counsel Investigation (AP; The Hill).

While the Special Counsel’s sentencing memorandum for Michael Flynn was heavily redacted, there are a few sections that stick out and support the conclusion that Flynn’s cooperation will substantially help the investigation, analyzes Alan Blake at the Washington Post.

 

IMMIGRATION

Domestic law enforcement agencies have become increasingly militarized over the years, but the Trump Administration is accelerating this militarization, argues Cynthia Pompa, Advocacy Manager of the ACLU Border Rights Center.

 

DEMOCRACY

The DOJ filed a memorandum in the litigation over the release of the Carter Page FISA, arguing it should not be assumed that President Trump’s Twitter statements concerning the matter are accurate or based on the President’s knowledge of the situation (Lawfare).

Individuals and organizations seeking to create a truly democratic future for the United States must first understand the past, where racial diversity led to fear and backlash, writes Georgetown University Professor, Marcia Chatelain, for Protect Democracy and Take Care.

  • More information on the “building a truly inclusive and multi-racial American democracy” symposium can be found here.

 

JUSTICE & SAFETY

China’s Commerce Ministry confirmed that the country agreed to a 90-day cease-fire with the United States to allow for negotiations (WSJ).

  • President Trump touted confidence that the United States will meet a broader trade deal with China (The Hill).

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo misled senators on the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a Senate-only briefing last week, claims Senator Chris Murphy. 

In response to the Trump Administration’s announcement of a potential withdrawal from the INF Treaty, Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the possibility of a future arms race with the United States (WSJ).

  • Richard Burt and Thomas Countryman argue for Politico that, rather than withdraw from the treaty, the United States should engage in diplomatic efforts.

 

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

After President Trump was elected in 2016, Saudi lobbyists reserved rooms for an estimated 500 nights at President Trump’s D.C. hotel to house the veterans in an unorthodox campaign they funded (WaPo).


REGULATION

A priority for the incoming Congress should be ensuring that the nearly 1,400 community health centers throughout the United States do not lose 71% of their funding, writes George Washington University Professor, Sara Rosenbaum, for Take Care.

The Department of Education’s proposed Title IX regulations, while allegedly designed to ensure due process, “represent yet another effort to erode important civil rights protections,” argues Janet Napolitano for the Washington Post.

President Trump’s Executive Order closing the federal government on Wednesday December 5th “as a mark of respect” for the passing of President George H.W. Bush violates the text of an 1893 statute, argues Neil Kinkopf for Take Care.

 

CHECKS AND BALANCES

Because of Bernard McNamee’s record of bias toward fossil fuels, the Senate should reject his nomination to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, argues Mary Anne Hitt for The Hill

 

RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE

FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, acknowledged that Russia interfered with the net neutrality repeal public comment process, referring to evidence that “half a million comments were submitted from Russian e-mail addresses” (The Hill).

 


Daily Update | December 7, 2018

12/7/18  //  Daily Update

Congress passed a short-term spending bill to fund the government through December 21st, but it does not include funding for the border wall. The Census Bureau plans to conduct the first ever field test of a census question to test the effects of the controversial citizenship question. The arrests in Canada of two officials associated with the Chinese tech giant, Huawei, at the direction of the United States have intensified already divisive trade negotiations between the United States and China. The Senate confirmed Kathy Kraninger’s nomination as the Director of the CFPB. William Barr, a Republican attorney who served as Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush, appears to be President Trump’s top choice for Attorney General. The Russian Embassy criticized the United States’ treatment of Maria Butina, a Russian official charged with acting as an unregistered foreign agent, and demanded her release.

Mackenzie Walz

University of Michigan Law School

Daily Update | December 5, 2018

12/5/18  //  Daily Update

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, citing his substantial assistance in several ongoing investigations, recommends that Michael Flynn serve no jail time in a sentencing memo. The Attorneys General of Maryland and the District of Columbia began issuing subpoenas for financial records and other documents from President Trump’s business entities as part of the litigation challenging his ongoing business entanglements as a violation of the Emoluments Clause. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a portion of a federal law that made it a crime to encourage foreigners to enter the United States illegally. State elections officials in North Carolina are investigating claims of fraud in a U.S. House race, including allegations that a contractor for the Republican candidate falsified or improperly destroyed hundreds of absentee ballots. Republican legislators in Wisconsin and Michigan are planning to strip incoming Democratic statewide officials of various official powers during the lame-duck period.

Zachary Piaker

Columbia Law School