Adam Smith  //  3/15/19  //  Daily Update

Anticipation for the Mueller report continues to build, as the House calls unanimously for its release and a key member of the Special Counsel’s team prepares to leave his post. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he won’t share the President Trump’s tax returns with Congress. A New York appeals court ruled that the President could be sued by a former Apprentice contestant for defamation. The Senate voted to deny the President his national emergency at the southern border — but the President’s own veto is all but assured. The Connecticut Supreme Court held that Remington and other manufacturers of the AR-15 rifle could be sued by the families of victims of the Sandy Hook mass shooting.



The House of Representatives unanimously called for the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election (NYT).

  • And the imminent departure of Andrew Weissman, a key member of the Special Counsel’s team, may signal that Mueller’s investigation is winding down (NPR).

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated that he would deny any Congressional requests for the President’s tax returns (NYT).

A New York state appeals court ruled that President Trump was not immune to a defamation suit brought by former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos (The Hill).



The Senate voted 59-41 to block President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the nation’s southern border, setting the stage for the first veto of the Trump era (NYT; WaPo).

  • Indeed, the President had only a single-worded tweet in response: “VETO!”
  • As the seeming boundlessness of executive emergency power dominates the headlines, perhaps it’s time to reconsider the legislative veto, suggest Geoffrey Manne and Seth Weinberger at JustSecurity.



In a significant blow to gun-manufacturer immunity, the Connecticut Supreme Court held Thursday that the families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook shootings could sue Remington and other producers of the AR-15 rifle (NYT).



House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reticence to impeach President Trump seems aligned with a broader consensus on the removal power, argues Bob Bauer at Lawfare.

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