Latest in Executive Power

Counterterrorism

Targeting al-Baghdadi and Selective Notification to Congress: Assessing the Issues

In the aftermath of the successful operation against Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the fact that the Trump administration gave advance notice to the Russian government and possibly also to some Republican lawmakers—but not to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff or other Democratic lawmakers—is attracting criticism. Is the criticism warranted? Not from a legal perspective. But it’s complicated from there.

The Ukraine Connection

More on the Role of OMB in Withholding Ukrainian Aid

Russell Vought, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), announced on Twitter that he and Michael Duffy, an OMB political appointee, are refusing to be deposed by House committees pursuing an impeachment investigation. With this in the news, it is worth revisiting OMB’s delay in releasing nearly $400 million in foreign assistance to Ukraine.

immigration

District Court Rules Against Trump in Border Wall Case

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas found President Trump’s proclamation declaring a national emergency at the southern border to be unlawful, ruling that the use of funds for this project violates the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The judge granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and called on them to file a “proposed preliminary injunction” specifying the scope of said injunction with ten days, after which the Trump administration is directed to respond.

congressional oversight

Appellate Court Rules House Committee Can Subpoena Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected President Trump’s appeal to block the release of his tax returns to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. The court’s decision affirmed that the Committee has the authority to subpoena the financial documents of the president and that Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, must comply by submitting the requested information. The court opinion can be found here and below.

Executive Power

Federal District Court Dismisses Trump Lawsuit Over Tax Returns, Trump Appeals

Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed Presdent Trump's lawsuit in federal court over the Manhattan District Attorney's efforts to obtain his tax returns. The president immediately appealed the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which issued an administrative stay, pending an expedited review by the court.

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