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The Ukraine Connection

White House Sought to Restrict Fiona Hill Deposition

The deputy counsel to President Trump responded to a letter from counsel for Fiona Hill, the former Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs for the National Security Council. The White House letter argues that Hill should not discuss any classified information or any details subject to executive privilege during her deposition before three House Committees handling the impeachment inquiry. The letter can be found here and below.

fisa court

Office of the Director of National Intelligence Releases Section 702 Documents and Opinions

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released partially redacted documents related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s (FISC) authorization of the 2018 certifications under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The FISC initially approved most parts of the certification, but ruled that other aspects of the FBI protocols concerning information regarding U.S. persons were inadequate.

The Ukraine Connection

House Chairmen Request Documents from Vice President Pence

The chairmen of three House committees—Oversight and Reform, Foreign Affairs and Intelligence—requested the production of several documents from Vice President Mike Pence related to his involvement in the Ukraine scandal. The chairmens’ letter references recent news reports that sparked questions about Pence’s role in the administration’s pressuring of the Ukrainian government. The letter is available here and below.

The Ukraine Connection

Congress Releases Ukraine-Related Text Messages

Thursday evening, the chairmen of the three House Committees—Oversight and Reform, Foreign Affairs and Intelligence—released text messages provided by Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy for Ukraine, as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s efforts to encourage Ukrainian officials to initiate an investigation of his possible political opponents in the 2020 presidential election.

Executive Power

New Filings in President Trump’s Lawsuit against Manhattan District Attorney

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York released a series of documents revealing that President Trump is suing both Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and the accounting firm Mazars over an attempt to obtain his tax returns. The complaint filed by lawyers of Trump suggests the request is unconstitutional since a sitting President cannot be criminally investigated. The court documents can be found here and below.

Surveillance: Snowden NSA Controversy

The Justice Department Sues Edward Snowden

The Justice Department has filed a civil complaint against Edward Snowden alleging that he violated non-disclosure agreements he signed with the CIA and NSA by both giving interviews he and failing to submit his new book for pre-publication review. The government is also suing the publisher of Snowden’s book to ensure that no profits from book sales are transferred to Snowden before the suit is resolved. The complaint can be read here and below.

Immigration

National Injunction Ordered for Trump Third Country Asylum Rule

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has reinstated a nationwide ban on a Trump administration rule barring people at the southern border from seeking asylum unless they had previously done so in Mexico or another third country. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had previously ruled that the preliminary injunction against the rule was only enforceable within the Ninth Circuit.

Documents

Procedures for Terrorist ‘Watchlist’ Unconstitutional, Court Rules

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that the federal government's Terrorist Screening Database program, commonly referred to as the terrorist "watchlist," does not provide "constitutionally adequate" process for Americans included in the database.  The Court instructed both sides to submit briefs about what they each view as the appropriate relief. The ruling can be found here.

 

 

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