Caroline Cox, Ian Eppler  //  5/16/18  //  Daily Update


U.S. Border Patrol has consistently undercounted the number of deaths of migrants on American soil. North Korea suggests that it may back out of the summit with the United States in response to joint South Korea–U.S. military exercises. The White House announced plans to eliminate the top cyber policy advisor position. In a memorial event for law enforcement officials killed in the line of duty, President Trump stated that a “dangerous anti-police prejudice” is growing in the United States. The Trump Organization has brought on a Chinese state-owned company as a partner for a real estate development project in Indonesia, raising questions about potential conflicts of interest after the Trump administration expressed support for ZTE, a Chinese electronics company under US sanctions.

 

TRUMP: INVESTIGATIONS & LITIGATION

A federal district judge denied former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s motion to dismiss his indictment by the Special Counsel’s office on the grounds that the Special Counsel lacked authority to prosecute him (Politico).

  • The opinion is available here.

 

IMMIGRATION 

Defense Department communications signal that the Trump Administration plans to hold migrant children on military bases (WaPo).

U.S. Border Patrol has consistently undercounted the number of deaths of migrants on American soil, writes Bob Ortega in a two-part series at CNN.

The Ninth Circuit heard arguments today in a challenge to President Trump’s recission of the DACA program (AP; Bloomberg).

 

CIVIL RIGHTS

The Trump Administration’s approach to toxic coal ash is leading some Native American communities to argue that the Administration is ignoring tribal concerns (LA Times).

Racial biases may be playing into lines policymakers are drawing in work requirements for Medicaid, housing aid, and food assistance, write Emily Badger and Margot Sanger-Katz at the New York Times.

 

DEMOCRACY

House Speaker Paul Ryan has scheduled a briefing for members of Congress that will discuss the Trump Administration’s work toward election security (The Hill).

Officials from the Department of Homeland Security met with Pennsylvania officials to discuss election security during the Commonwealth’s primaries (The Hill).

 

JUSTICE & SAFETY

North Korea suggests that it may back out of the summit with the United States in response to joint South Korea–U.S. military exercises (NYT, WaPo).

Palestinian protests against Israel and the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem have decreased but not died off completely in their second day (NYT).

  • The Hill reports that the United States is pushing against UN probes into the violence.
  • The Washington Post writes that UN Ambassador Nikki Haley defended Israel’s actions.

A new strategy from the Department of Homeland Security provides a framework for addressing the evolving cyber threats (Reuters).

The White House announced plans to eliminate the top cyber policy advisor position (The Hill).

After months of investigation, prosecutors are still unable to bring charges against a former CIA employee who was identified as a suspect in a CIA hacking tools leak (WaPo).

The United States announced new sanctions on Iran’s central bank governor for allegedly providing support to terrorists (Bloomberg).

In a memorial event for law enforcement officials killed in the line of duty, President Trump stated that a “dangerous anti-police prejudice” is growing in the United States (Politico).

 

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

The Trump Organization has brought on a Chinese state-owned company as a partner for a real estate development project in Indonesia, raising questions about potential conflicts of interest after the Trump administration expressed support for ZTE, a Chinese electronics company under US sanctions, report Alexandra Stevenson and Richard C. Paddock in the New York Times.  

  • The Trump Organization’s involvement in the project may violate the Emoluments Clause, suggests Helaine Olen in the Washington Post.
  • President Trump’s support for ZTE defies explanation, argues Heather Long in the Washington Post.

 

REGULATION

President Trump issued an executive order rescinding some national monument designations made under prior administrations, but it is unclear whether the Antiquities Act authorizes presidents to rescind these designations, notes Justin S. Daniel in the Regulatory Review.

A negotiator for the Mexican government suggested that talks on revisions to the North American Free Trade Agreement will likely continue beyond a Thursday deadline, making it unlikely that Congress will be able to vote on proposed revisions before the midterm elections (WSJ).

Breaking with longstanding practice, the Environmental Protection Agency will not consult with California’s regulators before proposing new vehicle emissions rules (WSJ).

 

RULE OF LAW 

The Inspector General of the Environmental Protection Agency announced an investigation into EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s use of a private email account (Politico).

 

CHECKS AND BALANCES

The Senate confirmed Trump judicial nominees Joel Carson and John Nalbandian to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, respectively, bringing the total number of circuit judges confirmed during the Trump administration to 21 (Courthouse News).

The Senate is likely to confirm Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee for director of the Central Intelligence Agency, after several Democrats announced they would support her (NYTimes, Politico, WSJ).

  • Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) announced his support after Haspel stated, in a letter to him, that the CIA should not have used “enhanced interrogation” during the Bush administration (Axios).
  • Haspel also responded to written questions from other senators (Lawfare).
  • The Senate will be voting on Haspel’s confirmation without seeing a Department of Justice report on Haspel’s involvement in the destruction of videotapes of CIA torture, notes Brian Tashman of the ACLU.
  • The CIA needs a leader with a strong moral compass, and Haspel’s involvement in torture suggests she falls short, argues Sahar Aziz at ACS Blog.

 

 


Daily Update | October 19, 2018

10/19/18  //  Daily Update

President Trump finally stated that he believed that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was dead. Emmet T. Flood has been named White House Counsel on a temporary basis. President Trump threatened closure of the Southern border if Mexico did not stop the ‘caravan’ of migrants headed from Guatemala to the United States. DHS is considering withdrawing from the Flores Agreement, a 21-year-old court-supervised settlement agreement that provides strict conditions for the detention of immigrant children. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board finally released a report that shows a gaping hole in privacy protections from U.S. surveillance. The Heritage Foundation’s training program for judicial clerks raised ethical questions and concerns regarding the duties of the clerks to the judges they will serve. The Inspector General concluded that Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke violated the Department’s policy on travel.

Hanna St. Marie

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | October 18, 2018

10/18/18  //  Daily Update

White House Counsel Donald McGahn resigned his post. The number of migrant families crossing the border reached record levels in the last three months, leading President Trump to call for a reinstatement of the family separation policy. The U.S. received $100 million in Syrian stabilization support from Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, raising questions about the timing of the transfer in light of the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Trump administration plans to withdraw from the 144-year-old Universal Postal Union Treaty, which allows Chinese companies to ship small packages to the U.S. at a heavily discounted rate. The White House revealed its Unified Agenda, proposing additional deregulation and predicting a decrease between $120 and $340 billion in regulatory costs by the end of fiscal year 2019. A senior Treasury Department employee was charged with leaking confidential financial reports, some of which related to the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian interference.

Nicandro Iannacci

Columbia Law School

Mackenzie Walz

University of Michigan Law School

Daily Update | October 17, 2018

10/17/18  //  Daily Update

The Trump administration has falsely and dangerously connected immigration to terrorism in promoting policies. President Trump threatened to cut aid to Honduras unless a group of migrants fleeing violence are stopped and returned to the country. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was sent to Saudi Arabia to speak with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman amid ongoing concerns over the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Rejecting an industry challenge, a D.C. Circuit Court judge allowed an Obama-era student loan protection for graduates of for-profit colleges to go into effect. DHS’s intelligence assessment reported that the volume of attempted cyber-attacks on election systems in 2018 has been growing, but some argue this may reflect improved reporting and sharing between governments, rather than an “uptick in activity.” President Trump criticized Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, for raising interest rates too fast, referring to the bank as his “biggest threat.”

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School

Mackenzie Walz

University of Michigan Law School