Latest in Appointments, Confirmations & Budgets

Federal Law Enforcement

William Barr’s Remarkable Non-Commitments About the Mueller Report

“I don’t think there’ll be a report,” President Trump’s former attorney, John Dowd, recently told ABC News. “I will be shocked if anything regarding the president is made public, other than ‘We’re done.’” Referring to a possible report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Dowd suggested Mueller won’t release a detailed public accounting of the results of the investigation because he has nothing on Trump.

Federal Law Enforcement

The Barr Nomination: Weighing Norms Against Pragmatism

A president like Donald Trump, who behaves outlandishly and governs recklessly, poses unique challenges to other institutional actors. Jack Goldsmith, among others, has identified how those who who flout norms in answering the president's own norm-busting chart a dangerous path from which there will be no simple or certain return.

Federal Law Enforcement

A New Lawsuit Against Whitaker’s Appointment Is a Brushback Pitch

Three senators—Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)—have sued President Trump and Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker over Trump’s installation of Whitaker at the Justice Department’s helm.

Federal Law Enforcement

New Resource Page: Litigation Documents on the Appointment of Matthew Whitaker

As Lawfare readers have probably noticed, there has been a fair amount of controversy over Matthew Whitaker's designation as acting attorney general as of late. To keep track of it all, we at Lawfare have put together a resource page collecting all litigation documents regarding Whitaker's appointment, ranging from outright challenges to Whitaker's role as acting attorney general (Maryland v. U.S., Blumenthal v. Whitaker, and Michaels v.

Federal Law Enforcement

Document: Three Senators Challenge Whitaker Appointment in D.C. Federal District Court

On Monday, Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Sheldon Whitehouse and Mazie K. Hirono filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia asking a federal judge to decide the legality of Matthew Whitaker's service as acting attorney general. The senators argue that Whitaker's appointment is in violation of the Appointments Clause as Whitaker was not confirmed by the U.S. Senate in his prior post. The full complaint is below.

Federal Law Enforcement

Document: Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel Memo on Designating an Acting Attorney General

On Nov. 14, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel released a memo defending the legality of President Donald Trump’s Nov. 7 designation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general. Read the document in full below.

Federal Law Enforcement

Document: State of Maryland Motions for Judge to Decide Whether Whitaker Is Acting Attorney General

On Tuesday, in litigation related to the Affordable Care Act in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the state of Maryland filed a motion to substitute the acting attorney general for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a defendant. In the motion, the state asks the judge for expedited consideration declaring Matthew Whitaker is not the lawful acting attorney general. The motion is below.

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