Nicandro Iannacci // 5/21/19 //
The White House instructed former counsel Donald McGahn to ignore a subpoena from House Democrats to testify on Tuesday morning, citing an OLC opinion. A federal judge in DC upheld a subpoena from House Democrats to accounting firm Mazars for President Trump’s financial records. ICE is detaining more than 52,000 immigrants in jails around the country, an apparent all-time record. Assisted reproductive technology may disrupt traditional ideas about maternity on which abortion law and discourse rests. President Trump said he currently sees no threatening actions from Iran, but that the U.S. “will have no choice” but to respond if that changes. The president’s stated preference for acting cabinet secretaries is bad governance and bad for national security. The EPA plans to change how it calculates the health risks of air pollution, resulting in fewer projected deaths from the rollback of the Clean Power Plan.
TRUMP: INVESTIGATIONS & LITIGATION
The House Intelligence Committee released transcripts of private interviews with former Trump attorney Michael Cohen (NYT).
The administration’s bad faith arguments for keeping the unredacted Mueller report secret are legally incorrect and a threat to national security, writes Ryan Goodman in The New York Times.
Special Counsel Mueller was correct in concluding that the application of obstruction of justice statutes to otherwise lawful presidential action is constitutional, write Andrew Kent, Justin Florence, and Ben Berwick at Lawfare.
Parallels between the Trump administration’s travel ban and family separation policy reveal the harms that the administration sought to inflict, write Leah Litman and Hilary Rosenthal at Take Care.
ICE is detaining more than 52,000 immigrants in jails around the country, an apparent all-time record (BuzzFeed News).
Kris Kobach, the former Kansas Secretary of State, gave the White House a list of conditions that must be met for him to accept the role of “immigration czar” (NYT).
The Trump administration’s plan to force migrant families to choose between family detention and family separation is cruel and a false choice, writes Taylor Levy at The Washington Post.
Take Care is pleased to continue its symposium on Reproductive Rights and Justice.
President Trump is elevating and helping to fuel the current wave of attacks on abortion rights, writes Leana Wen at The Washington Post.
The legal blog Lawfare filed a FOIA request to obtain the results of the FBI’s 2019 internal “climate survey” (Lawfare).
The Trump administration’s refusal to join the Christchurch call to remove violent online content is in line with the practice of previous administrations and highlights real First Amendment and human rights concerns, writes Evelyn Aswad at Just Security.
JUSTICE & SAFETY
President Trump said he currently sees no threatening actions from Iran, but that the U.S. “will have no choice” but to respond if that changes (WaPo).
In an interview, AG Bill Barr explained his expansive view of executive power as a defense of the presidency, not of President Trump (WSJ).
U.S. companies began to comply with a White House order to restrict business with Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, leading to a tumble in tech stocks (WaPo).
The president’s preemptive pardons of war crimes undermines the military justice system, writes Chris Jenks at Just Security.
The president’s stated preference for acting cabinet secretaries is bad governance and bad for national security, write Carrie Cordero and Joshua Geltzer at Just Security and Lawfare.
A recent OLC opinion finding that the FDA has no authority to regulate drugs used in lethal injection is weak and suggests politics played a role in the decision, writes Harry Litman at The Washington Post.
The EPA’s avoidance of implementing greenhouse gas regulations hurts Americans’ health and wastes the time and resources of the agency and the DOJ, writes Susannah Weaver at Take Care.
The EPA plans to change how it calculates the health risks of air pollution, resulting in fewer projected deaths from the rollback of the Clean Power Plan (NYT).
RULE OF LAW
A new report from the DOE inspector general concluded that Secretary Betsy DeVos used her personal email for official business on a “limited” number of occasions (WaPo).
The lobbying activities of Canadian billionaire Barry Zekelman are a case study in how to gain and wield influence in the Trump administration (NYT).
REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
In a private meeting, House Democratic leadership argued over whether to move forward with impeachment proceedings (Politico).