Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Lev Sugarman
Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 3:10 PM

Sixteen states filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against President Donald Trump over his declaration of a national emergency to secure funding for a border wall, the New York Times reports. Lawfare shared the civil complaint.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, released a report detailing efforts by senior Trump administration officials, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, to sell nuclear plants to Saudi Arabia, despite objections from lawyers and national security officials within the White House, according to the Washington Post.

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said in an interview on Tuesday that FBI officials briefed the Gang of Eight, the bipartisan leadership of the House, Senate, and each house’s respective intelligence committee, on the FBI’s probe of Trump opened after James Comey’s firing in May 2017, noting that there were no objections from the members briefed, NBC news details.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will leave the Justice Department in mid-March, while his replacement, expected to be Deputy transportation secretary Jeffrey Rosen, could be announced by Attorney General William Barr this week, CBS News reports.

After Roger Stone posted an Instagram photo of the face of the judge presiding over his case beside crosshairs, Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered Stone to show why the previous media contact order and conditions of release should not be changed or revoked, according to the Post. Stone later removed the photo and apologized in a letter to Jackson.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Friday that she was interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team in late 2018, CNN reports.

ICYMI: Over the Long Weekend on Lawfare

Annika Lichtenbaum analyzed the role of the Office of Legal Counsel in reviewing executive actions like Trump’s national emergency declaration.

Quinta Jurecic shared a sentencing memorandum filed by the special counsel’s office in Paul Manafort’s case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

John Bellinger shared a declaration of democratic principles released by a group of former world leaders at the Munich Security Conference. 

Robert Chesney discussed judicial deference to the executive in light of the coming litigation on Trump’s border emergency declaration.

Jack Goldsmith unpacked what is and is not legally significant in the emergency declaration.

Bob Bauer discussed the role of the White House counsel’s office in advising Trump on the legality of declaring a national emergency.

Benjamin Wittes shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast, the first episode of the new Culper Partners Rule of Law Series, in which David Kris and Nate Jones spoke to Senior Judge John Bates, the former presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court..

Evanna Hu wrote on evaluating the effectiveness of countering violent extremism programs for this week’s Foreign Policy Essay.

Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes commented on former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s 60 Minutes interview and its contribution to our understanding of L’Affaire Russe.

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