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 | January 22, 2019

1/22/19  //  Daily Update

President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said that conversations about Trump Tower Moscow went on leading up to the 2016 election. The Trump administration’s proposed ACA Rules could raise health insurance costs for millions of Americans. After the bipartisan First Step Act was signed, the DOJ and BOP have been dragging their feet to implement the new law, which reforms the criminal justice system. President Trump cannot acquire the land he needs build his border wall without forcibly displacing large numbers of property owners by using eminent domain. The Special Counsel’s office says it did not realize the extent of Buzzfeed’s story about Michael Cohen until it was published.

Abigail DeHart

Michigan Law School

Daily Update | January 18, 2019

1/18/19  //  Daily Update

In response to Nancy Pelosi’s threat to cancel the State of the Union, President Trump cancelled a congressional delegation to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan. Lack of funding for HUD means that rent for seniors and people with disabilities living in HUD-subsidized housing are facing poor housing conditions and could lose their housing altogether if the shutdown persists. The State Department will call back its furloughed diplomats next week, after finding enough money to cover payroll for two weeks. President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, used his technology company to try to rig online polls in President Trump’s favor during his presidential campaign. The GAO has released a report regarding the impact of global migration on climate change. The DOJ has submitted a filing indicating that it no longer believes that Texas should be put under federal supervision for voting under the Voting Rights Act.

Karen Kadish

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | January 17, 2019

1/17/19  //  Daily Update

Citing security concerns due to the government shutdown, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked President Trump to reschedule the State of the Union address or deliver it in writing. At his confirmation hearing, William Barr’s testimony sent mixed signals about what kind of Attorney General he will be. In a new report, the inspector general of the GSA says the agency “ignored” constitutional issues in its decision to allow the Trump International Hotel to maintain a lease in the Old Post Office building in Washington and recommended that the agency review the lease again. The Pentagon is developing a new vetting process for recruits with “foreign ties,” including some U.S. citizens. Iranian state television said one of its journalists has been arrested in the United States, but the U.S. government has not confirmed. T-Mobile executives have made repeated stays at Trump hotels, raising suspicions that they are trying to influence the administration’s decision about its merger with Sprint.

Nicandro Iannacci

Columbia Law School