Zachary Piaker  //  9/21/18  //  Daily Update


Dr. Christine Blasey Ford says she would agree to testify at a Senate hearing next week, but would not be prepared to do so on Monday. The Trump Administration plans to shift $260 million from program like cancer research and AIDS prevention to cover the cost of housing thousands of undocumented immigrant children in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services. The Pentagon stopped announcing body counts of Taliban and Islamic State fighters killed in battle in Afghanistan, a practice which had begun in January. The Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has begun dismantling decades-old policies meant to improve racial disparities in youth incarceration. A number of Russian oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin managed to build relationships with elements of the Trump campaign in 2016.

 

TRUMP: INVESTIGATIONS AND LITIGATION

Michael Cohen has participated in multiple interviews with Special Counsel Robert Mueller “on all aspects of Trump's dealings with Russia,” report George Stephanopoulos, Eliana Larramendia, and James Hill in ABC.  

 

IMMIGRATION

The Trump Administration plans to shift $260 million from program like cancer research and AIDS prevention to cover the cost of housing thousands of undocumented immigrant children in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, Tal Kopan reports in CNN.

 

DEMOCRACY

Despite the Supreme Court’s recent denial of a stay in Crossroads v. CREW, which required greater disclosure of the sources of “dark money” in politics, the immediate impact is likely to be limited, given that the FEC won’t have time to promulgate a new rule in time for the 2018 elections, writes Rick Hasen in Election Law Blog.

 

JUSTICE & SAFETY

President Trump lacks the legal authority to follow through on most of the threats John Bolton recently leveled at the International Criminal Court, argues Marty Lederman in Just Security.

The Pentagon stopped announcing body counts of Taliban and Islamic State fighters killed in battle in Afghanistan, a practice which had begun in January, Thomas Gibbons-Neff writes in the New York Times.

The Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has begun dismantling decades-old policies meant to improve racial disparities in youth incarceration, Eli Hager reports in the Marshall Project.

The White House announced a new policy authorizing offensive cyber operations in an effort to deter cyber attacks by foreign adversaries, writes Ellen Nakashima in the Washington Post.

A Government Accountability Office report revealed that the Defense Department has still not developed a plan evaluate its biological security practices three years after a military laboratory accidentally shipped live anthrax specimens around the world (NYT).

 

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Under Secretary Carson, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has repeatedly hired, promoted, and awarded raises to political operatives with no housing policy experience, Tracy Jan reports in the Washington Post.

 

REGULATION

Congressional disapproval of agency guidance documents or interpretations under the Congressional Review Act will likely have no impact, argue Keith Bradley and Larisa Vaysman in The Regulatory Review. 

Several advocacy organizations are suing to stop the Trump Administration’s rollback of Affordable Care Act regulations that prevented the sale of “junk plans” in the health insurance marketplace, Carmel Shachar writes in Bill of Health. 

In recent weeks, the Trump Administration has taken two significant steps to roll back Obama-era regulations that reduced waste and greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas operations, Julia Stein writes in Legal Planet.

 

RULE OF LAW 

More than a dozen legal scholars and Justice Department alumni sent a letter to President Trump’s lawyers arguing that Trump has no valid legal basis for claiming immunity from the Special Counsel’s obstruction of justice investigation, or from a subpoena soliciting information relating to this investigation.

  • Here you can find a longer White Paper explaining in greater detail the constitutional limits on the president’s power to resist a Special Counsel subpoena for corrupt or narrowly personal reasons.

President Trump’s order to declassify documents related to electronic surveillance of Carter Page demonstrates that “there is nothing he will not do and no person or institution he will not target in the name of self-preservation,” Cindy Otis writes in USA Today.

 

CHECKS & BALANCES 

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford says she would agree to testify at a Senate hearing next week, but would not be prepared to do so on Monday (WaPo).

  • A credible allegation of sexual assault is enough standing alone to disqualify Brett Kavanaugh from serving on the Supreme Court, argues Kate Shaw in the New York Times.
  • If Democrats win the House in November, they should consider impeaching a Justice Kavanaugh in order to conduct a full investigation, Ronald J. Krotoszynski Jr.writes in the New York Times.
  • Jeannie Suk Gersen sketches out what a serious investigation of the allegations against Kavanaugh would look like in the New Yorker.

 

RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE

The public has learned a tremendous amount about the Russian election interference campaign through the last two years’ of reporting, but rarely has it been gathered together in one place, write Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti in the New York Times.

The Treasury Department announced new sanctions against dozens of Russian individuals in retaliation for interference in the 2016 election, Matthew Choi writes in Politico.

A number of Russian oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin managed to build relationships with elements of the Trump campaign in 2016, Simon Shuster writes in Time.

 


Daily Update | May 31, 2019

5/31/19  //  Daily Update

Trump implied in a tweet that Russia did in fact help him get elected—and quickly moved to clarify. Mueller relied on OLC precedent in his comments earlier this week. Nancy Pelosi continues to stone-wall on impeachment.

Kyle Skinner

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | May 30, 2019

5/30/19  //  Daily Update

Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered a statement regarding the Russia investigation. Mitch McConnell says that Republicans would fill a Supreme Court vacancy in 2020 even if it occurs during the presidential election. A recent decision from AG Barr may deprive asylum seekers from a key protection against prolonged imprisonment. A federal judge has agreed to put the House subpoenas for the President’s banking records on hold while he appeals a ruling refusing to block them.

Hetali Lodaya

Michigan Law School

Daily Update | May 29, 2019

5/29/19  //  Daily Update

The Trump administration will soon intensify its efforts to reverse Obama-era climate change regulations by attacking the science that supports it. The Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law regulating the disposal of fetal remains, effectively punting on a major abortion rights decision. The Court also declined to hear a challenge to a Pennsylvania school district’s policy of allowing students to use the restroom that best aligns with their own gender identity on a case-by-case basis.

Kyle Skinner

Harvard Law School