Zak Lutz  //  11/8/18  //  Daily Update


Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at President Trump’s request; Matthew Whitaker, Sessions’ Chief of Staff, was named Acting Attorney General. The ACLU called for the DOJ to investigate Border Patrol for voter intimidation. Government officials acknowledged the spread of Election Day misinformation on social media site. Motel 6 agreed to pay a $9 million settlement after it worked with ICE agents to arrest guests. In October, three new credible allegations of corruption were raised against the Trump Administration, involving Secretary Zinke’s property dealings, President Trump’s business dealings in Saudi Arabia, and intervention on behalf of Republican donor Sheldon Adelson in Japan.

 

IMMIGRATION

Motel 6 agreed to pay a $9 million settlement after it worked with ICE agents to arrest guests (NYT).

 

DEMOCRACY

The ACLU called for the DOJ to investigate Border Patrol for voter intimidation (Hill).

Government officials acknowledged the spread of Election Day misinformation on social media sites (Hill).

DHS said it was not aware of any cyberattacks related to the midterm elections (Hill).

 

JUSTICE & SAFETY

While the Trump Administration seems intent on imposing sanctions on Iran, it has no definable goal for those sanctions, argues Suzanne Maloney in Lawfare.

 

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

In October, three new credible allegations of corruption were raised against the Trump Administration, involving Secretary Zinke’s property dealings, President Trump’s business dealings in Saudi Arabia, and intervention on behalf of Republican donor Sheldon Adelson in Japan (Global Anticorruption Blog).

 

REGULATION

The FCC errs in its proposal to reduce the Lifeline program to provide cell phone service to low-income people in natural disaster zones, argues Olivia Wein in The Hill.

 

REMOVAL FROM OFFICE

Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at President Trump’s request; Matthew Whitaker, Sessions’ Chief of Staff, was named Acting Attorney General (Hill, ImmigrationProfBlog, LAT, Lawfare, Legal Planet, NYT, Politico, Sentencing Law and Policy, WaPo, WaPo).

 

RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE

Facebook took down about 100 Russian-linked accounts prior to the Election (Hill).

Despite some arguments to the contrary, the Russians did interfere with the 2018 elections--primarily through disinformation campaigns, argues Joshua Geltzer in Just Security.

 

 


Daily Update | November 19, 2018

11/19/18  //  Daily Update

In an interview, President Trump said that he was not likely to sit for an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. A typo in newly unsealed court documents indicates that the DOJ is indeed planning to prosecute Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. The CIA concluded that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued new regulations to govern campus sexual assault cases, which will now face notice and comment. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in a discovery dispute in the litigation over the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. In the wake of its loss against Jim Acosta and CNN, the White House is drafting new rules for reporter behavior, with threats to return to court if they are violated.

Nicandro Iannacci

Columbia Law School

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | November 16, 2018

11/16/18  //  Daily Update

New data from USCIS shows that denials of legal immigration applications have increased by 37 percent under the Trump administration. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, called for Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker to recuse himself from oversight of the Mueller investigation. In a new report on police use of force, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights called for the Trump administration to increase oversight of local police departments. Hours after Saudi Arabia announced it will seek the death penalty for five people accused of killing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Trump administration announced sanctions against 17 people accused of involvement in the killing.

Nicandro Iannacci

Columbia Law School

Mackenzie Walz

University of Michigan Law School

Daily Update | November 15, 2018

11/15/18  //  Daily Update

Betsy DeVos, Secretary of the Department of Education, is expected to release new Title IX rules regulating how universities must handle sexual assault and harassment allegations. President Trump’s recent asylum policy is in violation of a Congressional statute, which states that anyone can apply for asylum at a designated port of arrival. The DOJ argued that President Trump has “broad discretion" to limit reporter access to White House buildings and events. The DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a memorandum explaining that the president has the legal authority to appoint a non-Senate-confirmed individual as acting attorney general.

Mackenzie Walz

University of Michigan Law School

Abigail DeHart

Michigan Law School