Helen Marie Berg, Caroline Cox  //  7/11/18  //  Daily Update


Michael Flynn’s brief appearance in federal court on Tuesday showed that while the former national security adviser wants to proceed to sentencing soon, his cooperation with Robert Mueller’s team is a priority. As the NATO summit sits on the horizon, President Trump and European leaders are engaging in a hostile back-and-forth on Twitter. Rudy Giuliani is simultaneously working for foreign clients while representing President Trump, a position that could violate federal ethics laws. Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is likely run the agency for a significant time as Senate Republicans seek to delay confirmation hearings for a permanent replacement for Scott Pruitt. A new executive order upends the typical method of hiring administrative law judges from a central pool of candidates, and directs executive agencies to directly hire judges.

 

TRUMP: INVESTIGATIONS AND LITIGATION 

Democratic Senators are calling for President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, to recuse himself should he be confirmed from any legal cases tied to the Mueller probe (The Hill).

  • The Hill further reports that Senator Chuck Schumer alleges that Kavanaugh’s nomination is tied to White House fear of the special counsel’s investigation. 

Michael Flynn’s brief appearance in federal court on Tuesday showed that while the former national security adviser wants to proceed to sentencing soon, his cooperation with Robert Mueller’s team is a priority (Politico).  

A U.S district court ordered that President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, move to an Alexandria, Virginia detention center to await trial (Politico).

Regardless of the constitutional issues at play, Special Counsel Robert Mueller does not have sufficient authority from the Department of Justice to indict President Trump, argue Samuel Estreicher and David Moosmann at Just Security.

 

IMMIGRATION

A judge for the U.S. District for the Central District of California ruled that the Trump Administration cannot amend the 1997 Flores settlement to permit the extended detention of migrant families (WSJ).

  • Politico has published a copy of the order.

The government is starting the court-ordered reunification process for migrant children separated from their families, writes Manny Fernandez and Caitlin Dickerson at The New York Times.  

  • The Hill reports that the government will not be able to reunite all 102 children eligible for reunification by the deadline. 

Mexico and the United States are debating a proposal that could further limit the number of asylum seekers entering the United States (WaPo).

 

CIVIL RIGHTS

The Department of Education announced that it is postponing the implementation of a rule meant to prevent the “significant disproportionality” of students from certain backgrounds in special education, writes Michelle Diament at Disability Scoop.

 

DEMOCRACY

A federal judge provided permission to plaintiffs in a suit over the inclusion of the new citizenship question on the 2020 census to search government files for evidence of bad faith in the Commerce Department’s decision (NYT).

 

JUSTICE AND SAFETY 

President Trump pardoned the two Oregon men charged with arson whose arrest sparked the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (NYT). 

As the NATO summit sits on the horizon, President Trump and European leaders are engaging in a hostile back-and-forth on Twitter (Politico).

President Trump’s strained relationship with European allies is primarily the result of a refusal of the Trump Administration to collaborate or provide much predictability, explains David M. Herszenhorn at Politico.

 

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Rudy Giuliani is simultaneously working for foreign clients while representing President Trump, a position that could violate federal ethics laws (WaPo). 

The Trump Administration is once more cutting funding for Affordable Care Act enrollment outreach (The Hill).

 

REGULATION 

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is likely run the agency for a significant time as Senate Republicans seek to delay confirmation hearings for a permanent replacement for Scott Pruitt (Politico).

 

CHECKS & BALANCES

A new executive order upends the typical method of hiring administrative law judges from a central pool of candidates, and directs executive agencies to directly hire judges (WaPo). 

President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie, received the support of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee (WaPo).

 


Daily Update | December 14, 2018

12/14/18  //  Daily Update

President Trump claimed he “never directed Michael Cohen to break the law,” and publicly criticized his former attorney following Cohen’s sentence to three years in jail. A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock after being taken into Border Patrol custody a week ago according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The United States Senate voted 56 to 41 to withdraw American military assistance to Saudi Arabia in Yemen, going against President Trump’s defense of the nation following the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed two requests at the Supreme Court asking it to stay injunctions from three lower courts on the Trump administration’s ban on transgender individuals from serving in the military. National security advisor John Bolton outlined a new strategy for the The Trump administration in Africa aimed primarily at opposing China. Maria Butina pled guilty to conspiracy to act as a foreign agent, and agreed to cooperate with with federal prosecutors going forward.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | December 13, 2018

12/13/18  //  Daily Update

Michael Cohen, President Trump's former attorney, is sentenced to three years in prison for financial crimes and lying to Congress to protect the "dirty deeds" of President Trump. Former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, has asked a federal judge to spare him from prison time. The Trump administration has filed a request asking the Supreme Court to block a district court order preventing the government from enforcing a ban barring immigrants who cross the border illegally from seeking asylum. The Trump administration plans to call out China for stealing American trade secrets and is expected to impose sanctions on hackers working for a Chinese intelligence service. The Senate passed legislation to reverse a Trump administration policy limiting donor disclosure requirements for political nonprofits.

Hilary Robin Rosenthal

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | December 10, 2018

12/10/18  //  Daily Update

In a series of court filings on Friday, federal prosecutors recommended a four-year prison sentence for former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and accused former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of lying to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Former FBI Director James Comey testified privately before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is expected to leave the administration by the end of the year. Lawyer and former Attorney General William Barr was nominated to be Attorney General. A federal appeals court refused to stay a lower court’s ruling blocking the Trump administration’s ban on asylum for migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. According to new data from the State Department, the administration’s policies have significantly reduced the admissions of Muslims and residents of Muslim-majority countries. The Trump administration wants to open negotiations on a peace deal in Afghanistan by April.

Nicandro Iannacci

Columbia Law School