Raquel Dominguez , Eve Levin // 9/15/17 //
President Trump and Congressional Democrats might have reached an agreement in principal to protect DACA recipients from deportation and to give them and others a path to citizenship in the United States, prompting vigorous criticism from right-wing Republicans. Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a bill, which President Trump described as a “curse on the U.S. and its people,” that would allow all Americans to access Medicare. Reports have surfaced that President Trump berated Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III during an oval-office meeting after Sessions’s recusal from the investigation into Russian meddling into the US Presidential election. Meanwhile, President Trump reminded reporters that when Nazis marched in Charlottesville last month, leading to many injuries and one death, “you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also.”
Congressional Democrats and President Trump have agreed to work together to find a solution for DACA (WaPo, NYT, LA Times, WSJ).
The Trump Administration has imposed visa sanctions on countries that refuse to take back deportees (NYT).
President Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, Eric Dreiband, draws mixed reviews (Hill).
A lawsuit challenging warrantless searches of phones and laptops at U.S. border crossings is the first of its kind, reports Cyrus Farivar with ARS Technica.
The ACLU has asked a federal court to immediately halt the ban on transgender individuals serving in the military (Hill).
The Pence-Kobach voting commission continues to draw criticism, even from its own members (NYT, Portland Press Herald).
The Office of Government Ethics has reversed policy so that aides caught in the Russia probe may receive anonymous gifts to their defense funds (Politico).
In a lawsuit before the Seventh Circuit challenging some residents’ of US Territories inability to vote, the Department of Justice has argued that the remedy to an equal protection violation is stripping other residents of those rights (Pacific Daily News).
Benjamin Wittes has sued the FBI to uncover documents that would refute President Trump’s statements about the “turmoil” the agency experienced under Former Director Jim Comey’s leadership (LawFare).
SAFETY AND JUSTICE
President Trump doubled-down on his assertions that both sides are to blame for the violence in Charlottesville (NYT).
While the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran’s long-term fate remains in question, President Trump waives sanctions against Iran for this month (WaPo, WSJ).
The Department of Homeland Security ordered all government agencies to stop using Russian produced software from Kaspersky Lab (Hill).
President Trump has blocked a Chinese-government-owned investment firm from acquiring a maker of field-programmable gate arrays, citing national security concerns (ARS Technica).
Jared Kushner is soliciting recommendations for improvements to mentoring and job training programs in prisons (WaPo).
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is again receiving criticism for trying to use the government’s private jet—and taxpayers’ money—for personal use (NYT; LA Times).
The rescission of the DOE’s 2011 Title IX guidance letter will undo a move that “effectively eliminated centuries of due-process rights at” U.S. colleges, claims Daniel Henninger at the Wall Street Journal.
The Trump administration has not maintained the website for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), shielding its activities from public view, notes Cass Sunstein at Bloomberg.
The President’s flip-flops on tax reform and other issues are probably for the best, writes Gail Collins at the New York Times.
President Trump tweeted that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s proposed single-payer health care plan is a “curse on the U.S. & its people” (Politico).
Courts could stop ACA waivers from taking effect even if HHS grants them, argues Nicholas Bagley at Notice & Comment.
The House voted Wednesday to strip funding for an Obama-era pollution rule at the EPA (Hill).
Reports suggest the Trump administration may replace, instead of only repealing, the Clean Power Plan, to the ire of conservative commentators (Politico).
Two Democratic Senators are threatening to delay the confirmation of two key EPA enforcement officers (Hill).
RULE OF LAW
A Senate Select Committee report noting concern about inadequate whistleblower protection for the intelligence community did not go far enough, argues Liz Hempowicz at the Project on Government Oversight.
President Trump sharply criticized former national security adviser Susan Rice for unmasking the names of his aides in intelligence reports and said the unmasking is “just the tip of the iceberg” (Hill).
CHECKS AND BALANCES
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argued that Senate blue slips should not act as “blackballs” for circuit court nominees (NYT; Hill; Buzzfeed).
In the midst of a controversy over Senator Feinstein’s questions to a Catholic judicial nominee, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved several of President Trump’s nominations (WSJ).
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is homing in on the role of social media in Russia’s attempts to disrupt the 2016 presidential election (Bloomberg; Hill).
President Trump berated Attorney General Jeff Sessions and called for his resignation shortly after Robert Mueller’s appointment, report Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman at the New York Times.
The spokesman of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will testify before a grand jury in connection with an investigation into Manafort’s business transactions (Politico).
REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
Offenses committed prior to taking office can be impeachable, Bob Bauer concludes in an essay at Lawfare.