Jacob Miller // 1/21/18 //
On a new episode of Versus Trump, Jason, Easha, and Charlie tackle an unexpected new lawsuit against the Trump Administration by, of all people, former campaign chair Paul Manafort. They also discuss the President's threats to sue the publisher of Fire and Fury for defamation. Listen now!
The Dreamers’ situation is tragic, but the federal court was wrong to enjoin the cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, writes Zachary Price for Take Care.
The Department of Justice will ask that the Supreme Court immediately review a district court ruling that required the government to continue the DACA program (NYT).
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s questions of Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen on Tuesday focused primarily on President Trump’s recent profane language about African countries (NYT).
A federally funded shelter has released a pregnant immigrant teenager who was prevented from ending her pregnancy while in government custody (WaPo).
White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly “deserves more scrutiny and more condemnation” for his influence in the immigration debate, writes Charles M. Blow in The New York Times.
The Chief of Staff recently told lawmakers that President Trump was not sufficiently informed of the facts when he promised a border wall during the campaign (NYT).
The Department of Homeland Security’s promise to prosecute officials who support sanctuary cities is unconstitutional, argues Cody Wofsy at the ACLU.
In light of the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., commentators reflected on the President’s legacy on issues of race.
Civil Rights leaders called Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s comments praising Martin Luther King Jr. “beyond ironic,” writes Sari Horwitz at The Washington Post.
With President Trump’s recent remarks, there is sufficient evidence to presume “any actions that disadvantage members of the groups he has disparaged were motivated by Constitutionally impermissible considerations,” explains Richard Thompson Ford at Take Care.
The Office for Civil Rights within the Department of Education is rejecting discrimination complaints from transgender students (Huffington Post).
The nominee for Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department is unfit for the position and has failed to disavow discriminatory policies, writes Lambda Legal.
Democracy is not dying under President Trump, but there is cause for concern, writes Uri Friedman at The Atlantic.
Few of the events of the last several weeks, including President Trump’s profane comments and the book Fire and Fury, are likely to have a lasting impact, writes Neil H. Buchanan at Dorf on Law.
Polling suggests that the majority of Americans believe that the government does not sufficiently guard against corruption (Project on Government Oversight).
JUSTICE & SAFETY
A leaked copy of the Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review shows that the government wants to update the nuclear arsenal with new types of weapons (WashPo).
The United States may withhold millions of dollars from the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees (WSJ).
The Pentagon is considering the development of “low-yield” warhead and sea-based cruise missile nuclear weapons (WSJ).
The Pentagon has also indicated an interest in using nuclear arms to counter significant cyberattacks (NYT).
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that the United States would not agree to a “freeze for freeze” deal with North Korea (WaPo).
The Department of Homeland Security released an 11-page report that appears to connect immigration to terrorism convictions (NYT).
President Trump once again waived sanctions against Iran in compliance with the Iran Nuclear Deal, but has not signaled the final fate of the deal, explains J. Dana Stuster at Lawfare.
The interface for the ballistic missile alert system in Hawaii is distressingly rudimentary, writes Megan Guess at Ars Technica.
The President’s comments on what he called “shithole countries” could set back American interests in Africa, report Kimon de Greef and Sewell Chan at the New York Times.
U.S. counterintelligence officials reportedly warned Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump that their friend Wendi Deng-Murdoch may be working to advance the interests of the Chinese government (WSJ).
The Pentagon is pursuing development of two new nuclear weapons (WSJ).
Opinion data suggest that Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s tough-on-crime posture may backfire politically, observe Inimai Chettiar and Udi Ofer at the ACLU.
The FBI’s handling of the Clinton and Russia probes shows a troubling devolution of the agency, former FBI assistant director James Kallstrom tells William McGurn at the Wall Street Journal.
Arguments in favor of stricter national security measures are a step toward destrective protectionism policies, argues Colin Grabow at Cato at Liberty.
Jared Kushner’s work on a bipartisan criminal justice reform deal have stalled due to Attorney General Jeff Sessions (Vice News).
A new case argues that the 2001 authorization for the use of military force has expired, which the petitioners argue means that their Guantanamo Detention cannot continue (Lawfare).
The United States Navy announced that it will prosecute commanding officers involved in the collision of two Naval destroyers in the Pacific last year (NYT).
United States spies have voiced concern that the man arrested for exposing sources in China will not face justice (WaPo).
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney, arranged a $130,000 payment to a “former adult-film star a month before the 2016 election as part of an agreement that precluded her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump,”Michael Rothfeld and Joe Palazzolo report in the Wall Street Journal.
A new tool called “All the President’s Profiting” tracks Trump properties that brought in more than $4 million from political entities in the past election cycle, courtesy of the Sunlight Foundation.
A photographer for the Department of Energy claims that he was fired after a photographer he took suggested that the coal industry had influence with Secretary Rick Perry (NYT).
Numerous members of the National Parks System Advisory Board have quit in protest of the way in which the Trump Administration has handled the park system (NYT).
In the face of evidence that the record in the FCC’s recent action net neutrality was corrupted by over 1 million fake comments, the agency has done very little, writes Tejas Narechania in Take Care.
At one point, the White House was considering a plan to promulgate a series of progressive regulations which would then be disapproved by Congress under the Congressional Review Act, thereby preventing future Democratic administrations from proposing substantially similar regulations, reports Jonathan Swan in Axios.
The Education Department is proposing to make it more difficult for students to bring claims they were misled by for-profit educational institutions, by raising the burden of proof to a “preponderance of the evidence” standard, writes Erica L. Green in the New York Times.
In the fight against President Trump’s deregulation agenda, courts must be careful to set precedents that will not overly constrain future administrations, argues Zachary Price at Take Care.
Kentucky’s new work requirement for Medicaid recipients may result in death, writesEduardo Porter at The New York Times.
Banks won big in Trump’s tax cut, writes Jim Tankersley at The New York Times.
The GOP takes aim at the employer mandate (NYT).
How Trump’s agency disruption may be benefiting career staffers (WaPo).
Democrats’ pushback on net neutrality could energize the electorate, writes Philip Bump in The Washington Post.
Eleven Democratic Senators have joined the Trump Administration and Senate Republicans in attempting to roll back several of the Dodd-Frank Act’s key restrictions on financial institutions (NYT).
Democrats claim there are now 50 votes to overrule the FCC’s net neutrality repeal (WaPo).
Donald Trump has sought to undermine President Obama’s legacy at every turn, argues Justin George at The Marshall Project.
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau announced that it is seeking comments on its enforcement, supervising, rulemaking, and educational work (Consumer Finance Monitor).
Senator Chuck Schumer announced that Senate Democrats are seeking a vote to prevent the FCC from repealing net neutrality (The Hill).
RULE OF LAW
It is wrong for President Trump to accuse an FBI agent of treason, writes Robert Litt for Lawfare.
CHECKS & BALANCES
The modern administrative state is threatened by the trend of ideological outsourcing, the outsourcing of government functions to private, ideological entities, argues Kate Shaw in Take Care.
Government shutdown possible as Dems demand action on DACA (WaPo).
How partisan division among states in Congress could deepen — and spawn a ‘new civil war’ (NYT).
Recently passed legislation would restore a State Department office focused on cybersecurity policy over Secretary Tillerson’s objections (The Hill).
The Trump Administration approved Kentucky’s plan to impose work requirements for Medicaid recipients, paving the way for other conservative states to follow suit (NYT, WaPo, WSJ).
Marijuana policy is as much an issue of separation of powers as it is an issue of federalism, argues Sam Kamin at ACSblog.
REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
A military doctor claims Trump got a perfect score on a test designed to identify cognitive impairment, concluding the president “does not suffer from mental issues that prevent him from functioning in office” (NYT).
At a White House event for women in his administration, the president asked “how did I win Arkansas by so much when [Hillary Clinton] came from Arkansas?” (WaPo video).
The adult film star Trump paid for silence about a sexual relationship between the two reportedly spoke to a journalist in 2016, fearing he would not pay (WaPo).
Outside experts warn that President Trump’s physical examination raises serious heart concerns (NYT).
President Trump’s suggestion that he may not submit to an interview with the special counsel flouts the expectations set by the U.S. Supreme Court in United State v. Nixonduring the Watergate scandal, writes Bob Bauer in Lawfare.
Elected officials leading the Senate Judiciary and House Intelligence Committee investigations into Russian election interference are hoping to restore bipartisan cooperation after weeks of partisan acrimony, report Elana Schor and Kyle Cheney in Politico.
The transcript of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee reveals Republican senators trying, and failing, to discredit Simpson, writes Virginia Heffernan in the Los Angeles Times.
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski will testify before the House Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into Russian election interference,reports Mike DeBonis in the Washington Post.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller issued a grand jury subpoena to President Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon, Mueller’s first known use of the subpoena power in the investigation (NYT).
Senators Marco Rubio and Chris Van Hollen announced proposed legislation that provides for sanctions for future interference with U.S. elections (The Hill).
Steve Bannon has agreed to be interviewed in Mueller’s investigations and will not go in front of a grand jury (NYT).
Facebook announced that it is investigating whether Russian interference played a role in the Brexit campaign on the site (The Hill).