Daily Update | August 30, 2019
The DOJ released a report stating that Former FBI director James Comey’s handling of the memos detailing his conversations with President Trump violated FBI policies. A federal judge denied the House Democrats’ effort to expedite their lawsuit over their request for President Trump’s tax returns. USCIS eliminated the “deferred action” program, which permitted immigrants to avoid deportation if they or their relatives were undergoing lifesaving medical treatment. The Pentagon officially established the US Space Command to ensure American dominance in space, which President Trump declared as crucial to the country’s national security and defense. The EPA announced its plan to roll back an Obama Administration climate regulation on methane gas emissions from the oil and gas industry.
Daily Update | August 29, 2019
The House Judiciary Committee plans to investigate the president’s push to host next year’s G-7 meeting at his Doral resort. A new USCIS policy would require the US-citizen parents of certain children born abroad to apply for the child’s citizenship, rather than it being granted automatically. The California Supreme Court will decide whether a Prop. 4, a ballot measure that opens the state’s presidential primaries, conflicts with a recently passed law requiring candidates to have disclosed tax returns. Attorney General Barr has booked a Trump hotel for a $30,000 holiday party.
Daily Update | August 28, 2019
Several states, led by the California and Massachusetts Attorney Generals, are challenging the Administration’s abrogation of the Flores Settlement. The DOJ sued Baltimore County’s police department under Title VII, alleging discrimination against black applicants. The administration argued in a filling that states have no power to challenge rollbacks to the National School Lunch Program nutrition guidelines. The EOIR Director, or the head of immigration courts, has the authority to overrule federal judges per an interim rule that went into effect this week.
Daily Update | August 27, 2019
The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed former White House aide Rob Porter to testify about President Trump’s efforts to obstruct the Russian investigation. The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court for an emergency stay in order to enforce a new rule on asylum that would bar migrants from applying for asylum in the U.S. if they passed through another country first. California announced that a group of states and D.C. will sue the Trump administration over a new rule allowing the expansion of child and family detention. FEC Commissioner Matthew Peterson resigned, leaving the commission without a quorum and unable to take official action. Federal prosecutors will pursue the death penalty for the alleged Pittsburgh synagogue shooter, just one month after DOJ announced it would resume executions. President Trump offered to host the next G7 meeting at his golf resort in Doral, FL, raising the spectre of an Emoluments Clause violation.
Daily Update | August 21, 2019
House Democrats asked a D.C. federal judge to expedite the release of President Trump’s tax returns. Days after indicating his support for federal background-check legislation, the President reportedly reversed course in a call with NRA officials. The NYPD fired the officer whose chokehold killed Eric Garner in 2014. The Trump administration told the Supreme Court that its attempt to end DACA was lawful.
Daily Update | August 20, 2019
DOJ asked the Second Circuit to block House subpoenas for President Trump’s financial records. Civil rights groups filed suit against ICE over the quality of medical and mental health care at detention facilities. HUD proposed a rule that would make it substantially more difficult for plaintiffs to bring “disparate impact” claims under the Fair Housing Act. Planned Parenthood announced that it will withdraw from the Title X family planning program rather than comply with a Trump administration prohibition on abortion referrals. In the wake of Jeffrey Epstein’s death, AG Bill Barr announced that former Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer will replace Acting Director Hugh Hurwitz as the new director.
Daily Update | August 16, 2019
The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Corey Lewandowski and former White House aide, Rick Dearborn, regarding President Trump’s potential obstruction of justice. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a court order requiring the Trump Administration provide hygiene supplies to children in the Rio Grande Valley detention facilities. The Israeli government announced that Representatives Omar and Tlaib are prohibited from visiting Israel during their upcoming trip after President Trump advocated for the prohibition on Twitter.
Daily Update | August 14, 2019
Two rules announced by the White House on Monday—which promise to roll back protections for endangered species and penalize immigrants for receiving federal welfare benefits—have already garnered their first round of legal challenges. A 29-state coalition sued to prevent the Trump Administration from easing limits on emissions from coal-power producers.
Daily Update | August 8, 2019
The House Judiciary Committee filed a lawsuit to force former White House Counsel Don McGahn to comply with a subpoena to testify. The DHS inspector general is investigating allegations of harassment and possible CBP violation of U.S. laws in connection with a government database of lawyers, journalists, and advocates. President Trump has expressed support for extensive background checks for gun sales but is getting pushback from the NRA and White House aides. DOD, GSA and NASA published a rule banning federal agencies from purchasing telecommunications equipment from Huawei and four other Chinese companies.
Daily Update | August 7, 2019
The Administration has been sued over its new expansion of the “fast track removal” program, which was previously limited to a physical zone 100 miles near the border. Former Special Agent Peter Strzok, who was fired over a series of text messages, has sued Attorney General Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray. A district court judge has dismissed one of two charges against Gregory Craig, former Obama White House Counsel, brought in connection with findings in the Mueller investigation. A top climate scientist has left the Department of Agriculture after, he says, his research was questioned by department officials and media coverage of his findings was suppressed.
Daily Update | August 6, 2019
DOJ lawyers were questioned during a FOIA hearing as to why at least some of the Mueller Report should not be released to the public. Government whistleblowers are increasingly being monitored and then charged under the Espionage Act, even if they are not spies. Mass shootings occurred in both El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH over the weekend; the El Paso shooter posted an anti-immigrant message online prior to the shooting.
Daily Update | August 2, 2019
The Ninth Circuit will hear arguments on the border wall funding case in November. The White House has ordered the recently installed Defense Secretary to reexamine how a $10 million defense contract is being awarded. A federal judge on Thursday issued an order that temporarily prevents New York from providing the House Ways and Means Committee with President Trump's state tax returns.
Daily Update | August 1, 2019
A lawsuit determining whether President Trump directed parts of a FISA warrant for his former adviser Carter Page to be declassified will continue. The White House characterized the trade talks between China and Russia as “constructive” and announced the countries will meet in September to continue the conversation. The US imposed financial sanctions on Iran’s foreign minister, increasing pressure on the Islamic Republic. The Federal Reserve announced it will cut interest rates for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis in an effort to protect the US economy from a downturn.
Daily Update | July 31, 2019
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by the DNC alleging the Trump campaign, President Trump, WikiLeaks, and the Russian government conspired to interfere in the 2016 election. The ACLU filed a lawsuit alleging the Administration has separated more than 900 children from their families, in violation of a court order prohibiting such separations. President Trump, once again, accused China of delaying trade negotiations and stated an agreement may not be reached until after the 2020 Election.
Daily Update | July 30, 2019
The Supreme Court overturned a lower court order blocking the U.S. government from spending Pentagon funds to extend the border wall. Attorney General Barr ended asylum protections for migrants whose immediate relatives have been persecuted. President Trump signed an agreement with Guatemala requiring asylum seekers who travel through that country to seek refuge there before continuing to the United States. President Trump plans to nominate Representative John Ratcliffe as the next Director of National Intelligence following Daniel Coats’s resignation.