May 25, 2019

Trump's legal losing streak

Mike Allen, author of AM

Trump walks out of the White House before leaving for Japan, May 24. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Strike 3 for President Trump in federal courts this week:

The latest: A federal judge in Oakland yesterday "blocked President Trump from building sections of his border wall using money redirected through a national emergency declaration," per the L.A. Times:

  • U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam granted "a preliminary injunction sought by the Sierra Club and a coalition of border community groups that sued the administration."

Why it matters: "The order blocks the use of $1 billion from the Department of Defense in Arizona and Texas, out of $6.7 billion that [the] Trump administration said it planned to direct toward building the wall," per Reuters.

The streak:

  • On Monday, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington ruled against Trump in an accounting-records dispute with the House Oversight Committee, and "said lawmakers should get the documents they have subpoenaed."
  • On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos in New York refused to block subpoenas — from the House Financial Services and Intelligence committees — for Trump records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One.
  • Also Wednesday, New York lawmakers gave final passage to legislation that would allow Trump's state tax returns to be released to Congress.

Go deeper

Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.