Photo: Tom Brenner/Washington Post/Getty Images

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered the White House on Thursday to preserve records of President Trump’s communications with foreign leaders, including those with Ukraine's president that have spurred an impeachment inquiry in the House, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Jackson's order seems to address concerns outlined in a whistleblower complaint that the White House has used procedures reserved for highly sensitive information to limit access to potentially damaging conversations between Trump and foreign leaders. CNN has reported that officials took steps to restrict access to Trump's calls with Vladimir Putin, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Details: Jackson ordered the White House to not destroy records of Trump's "meetings, phone calls, and other communications with foreign leaders," and to preserve "all records of efforts by White House or other executive branch officials to return, ‘claw back,’ ’lock down’ or recall White House records” about dealings with foreign officials, per Politico.

  • The order is the result of a lawsuit filed in May by a watchdog group and 2 history-focused organizations that alleged the Trump administration is violating the Presidential Records Act.
  • Though the suit predates Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, lawyers asked Jackson on Oct. 1 to issue a temporary restraining order, citing reports that records of Trump’s communications were being locked down.
  • Jackson did not grant the restraining order, but she did file the request for 6 categories of records to be preserved.

The other side: Justice Department lawyers said in a court filing on Oct. 2 that the White House has taken steps to secure the records the plaintiffs are concern about.

  • Government lawyers in another court filing this week said they believe the suit lacks legal merit and asked Jackson to dismiss the lawsuit.

Go deeper: Second Ukraine whistleblower has "firsthand knowledge" of Trump allegations

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Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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