Nicandro Iannacci  //  11/28/19  //  Daily Update

Impeachment-related testimony continues. Certain officials react to a district court decision denying absolute immunity to a former administration official, but that decision gets appealed. President Trump makes his 100th taxpayer-funded visit to Mar-a-Lago. And it's Thanksgiving weekend! Enjoy.



The House Judiciary Committee will hold its first impeachment hearing on December 4 (WaPo). 

OMB official Mark Sandy testified that two other officials in the office resigned earlier this year party because of concerns about President Trump’s decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine (NYT, WaPo, WSJ, POLITICO). 

  • The transcripts of Sandy’s testimony and the testimony of State Department official Amb. Philip Reeker are here.
  • According to new documents, the timeline for withholding aid really begins in June, not July, writes Kate Brannen at Just Security.
  • The hold on aid was illegal, writes Sam Berger at Just Security.

President Trump reportedly knew about a whistleblower complaint about his dealings with Ukraine when he released military aid in September (NYT, WSJ).

DOJ plans to appeal a district court ruling ordering former White House counsel Donald McGahn to testify (POLITICO, The Hill). 

  • Former deputy national security adviser Chuck Kupperman said he will continue to pursue his own lawsuit (The Hill).
  • Former national security adviser John Bolton said he is waiting for the outcome of the Kupperman lawsuit (NYT). 
  • House Democrats say their legal victories won’t slow the impeachment timeline (The Hill).
  • The White House’s claim of absolute immunity is “an assertion of breathtaking scope” with broad ramifications, writes David Post at The Volokh Conspiracy.
  • Bolton may prove to be a critical witness, writes Dean Falvy at Verdict.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed support for the president’s claim that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election (WaPo, POLITICO).

Lawfare provides an in-depth account of the Ukraine affair.

Just Security provides a timeline of efforts by Trump associates to work with Ukraine to create misinformation about former Vice President Joe Biden.



Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani lobbied DOJ on behalf of a wealthy Venezuelan businessman in an effort to prevent criminal charges (NYT, WaPo). 

DOJ and former national security adviser Michael Flynn asked a federal judge to delay his sentencing until after the release of the full Mueller Report (POLITICO).



A federal judge in Oregon enjoined the Trump administration’s policy of denying visas unless immigrants purchase health insurance within 30 days or otherwise show they can pay medical costs (POLITICO, The Hill).

ICE’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit over the Trump administration’s policy of arresting immigrants when they appear in state court should be denied, writes Michael Dorf at Verdict.



The House Oversight Committee sued AG Bill Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for subpoenaed documents related to the proposed addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census (NYT, WSJ, POLITICO, The Hill).

The memory of former assistant AG John Gore is proving important - and unreliable - in two ongoing lawsuits against the Trump administration, writes Tierney Sneed at Talking Points Memo.



President Trump plans to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations (NYT, WSJ).

The president’s intervention in the review of a Navy SEAL’s disciplinary case undermines the military justice system, write Geoffrey S. Corn and Rachel E. VanLandingham at Lawfare. 



A recently obtained Army contract suggests spending at Trump properties may run afoul of the Domestic Emoluments Clause (CREW). 

President Trump has made 100 taxpayer-funded visits to Mar-a-Lago during his presidency (CREW).



The DOL’s inclusion of worker centers in its interpretation of “labor organization” is wrong and should be corrected, write Kate Griffith and Leslie Gates at On Labor.



Four states are appealing a legal challenge to the GOP tax law’s limit on state and local tax deductions (The Hill).

Daily Update | December 23, 2019

12/23/19  //  Daily Update

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seek to leverage uncertainties in the rules for impeachment to their advantage. White House officials indicated that President Trump threatened to veto a recent spending bill if it included language requiring release of military aid to Ukraine early next year. The DHS OIG said that it found “no misconduct” by department officials in the deaths of two migrant children who died in Border Patrol custody last year. And the FISA court ordered the Justice Department to review all cases that former FBI official Kevin Clinesmith worked on.

Emily Morrow

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | December 20, 2019

12/20/19  //  Daily Update

Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated the House will be “ready” to move forward with the next steps once the Senate has agreed on ground rules, but the House may withhold from sending the articles to the Senate until after the new year. Commentary continues about the Fifth Circuit's mixed decision on the status of the ACA.

Emily Morrow

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | December 19, 2019

12/19/19  //  Daily Update

The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump. Some Democrats urge House leaders to withhold the articles to delay a trial in the Senate. Meanwhile, the Fifth Circuit issues an inconclusive decision about the future of the ACA, and DHS and DOJ proposed a new rulemaking to amend the list of crimes that bar relief for asylum seekers.

Emily Morrow

Harvard Law School