Rantt Rundown: DACA, Macron, And Ronny “Candy Man” Jackson
Day 460 of the Trump presidency
Today, there was a huge victory for 690,000 undocumented Americans (that’s not a typo — they are Americans in every way except on paper) and a huge defeat for 1 president.
After last year’s decision by President Trump to rescind DACA and throw hundreds of thousands of people’s futures into a state of uncertainty, it has been dealt quite a few legal setbacks. But this third ruling deals the largest blow to Trump’s efforts to end DACA and delivers a sigh of relief for those who depend on it.
A D.C. federal judge has delivered the toughest blow yet to Trump administration efforts to end deportation protections for undocumented immigrants known as “dreamers,” ordering the government to continue the Obama-era program and — for the first time — to accept new applicants.
U.S. District Judge John D. Bates called the government’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program “virtually unexplained” and therefore “unlawful.” However, he stayed his ruling for 90 days to allow the Department of Homeland Security a chance to provide more solid reasoning for ending the program.
Bates is the third judge to rule against Trump administration attempts to rescind DACA, which provides work permits and deportation protections for about 690,000 undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children.
In his decision Tuesday, Bates said the decision to phase out the program starting in March “was arbitrary and capricious because the Department failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.”
If the government does not come up with a better explanation within 90 days, he said, the administration’s order to rescind DACA will be vacated and “DHS must accept and process new as well as renewal DACA applications.”
According to the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of DACA recipients are ages 25 or younger, and a majority are women. Here is where they are from:
They were brought here when they were kids, and this is the only country they’ve ever known.
The numbers don’t lie. These people are young, employed, and productive members of American society. Today’s ruling is promising, but it’s not over yet. We’ll soon see if they get the treated with the dignity they deserve.
- French President Emmanuel Macron was received with much fanfare today, as he successfully wooed President Trump. Macron was met with the Trump White House’s first State Dinner — planned by Melania Trump. In a day filled with handshakes, kisses on the cheek, and mutually complimentary language, Macron’s main priorities were to convince Trump to remain in the Iran Deal and not pull out of Syria prematurely. Although it’s unclear exactly how much progress has been made on that front, it’s very clear he’s won Trump’s heart.
- Veteran Affairs Secretary nominee Dr. Ronny Jackson faced allegations of fostering a toxic work environment, being drunk on the job, and overprescribing medication. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) told CNN that Jackson was known to hand out prescriptions “like candy” — so much so that he was known as “the candy man” in the White House. CNN later reported one of the most detailed accounts of alleged misconduct from Jackson:
During an overseas trip in 2015, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, was intoxicated and banged on the hotel room door of a female employee, according to four sources familiar with the allegation.
The incident became so noisy, one source familiar with the allegation told CNN, that the Secret Service stopped him out of concern that he would wake then-President Barack Obama.
The White House has stood by Dr. Jackson so far. The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has indefinitely postponed his confirmation hearing.
- As Iran threatened that it might quit the Non-Proliferation Treaty, President Trump signaled he’s open to a new deal with European allies to constrain Iran.
- Some news about Trump’s former Campaign Chairman — current indictee — Paul Manafort. Manafort was reportedly interviewed twice by the FBI during the time he was doing his work in Ukraine in 2013 and 2014. A court filing today revealed that in the raid of Manafort’s home last year, Special Counsel Robert Mueller sought evidence related to the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Kushner, Don Jr., Manafort, and Russian operatives. Also, Mueller reportedly reviewed Manafort’s testimony regarding Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
Context: Manafort served as a lobbyist and political consultant for pro-Russia Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych. He started in 2004, reportedly upon the advice of Russian oligarch and close Putin ally Oleg Deripaska, and helped Yanukovych reshape his political image. His work went on for years. Manafort received millions in undisclosed cash payments. Work he was indicted for.
Manafort also reportedly had a $10 million a year contract with Oleg Deripaska. The contract was part of a plan to assert pro-Russia influence in U.S. politics and lasted from 2006–2009. Paul Manafort moved into Trump Tower in 2006.
Two weeks before Trump accepted the GOP nomination; Paul Manafort reportedly offered “private briefings” on the state of the 2016 election to Oleg Deripaska.
- Attorney General Jeff Session has decided not to recuse himself from the Michael Cohen probe.
Sean Hannity’s real estate venture bought houses through a property dealer who was involved in a criminal conspiracy to fraudulently obtain foreclosed homes, according to records reviewed by the Guardian.
In 2012, a shell company linked to the Fox News host bought 11 homes in Georgia that had been purchased by the dealer, Jeff Brock, following foreclosures. Brock transferred the properties to corporate vehicles that sold them on to the Hannity-linked company at a profit.
Brock pleaded guilty in 2016 to federal charges of bank fraud and conspiracy for his role in an operation to rig foreclosure auctions between 2007 and 2012. He was sentenced to six months in prison and had to pay more than $166,000 in fines and restitution.