News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Trump campaign sues NY Times; DOJ can withhold grants to sanctuary jurisdictions, 2nd Circuit says

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Trump campaign is suing the New York Times for libel

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign says it is filing a libel suit against the New York Times for a March 2019 op-ed entitled “The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo.” The subhead read: “The campaign and the Kremlin had an overarching deal: help beat Hillary Clinton for a new pro-Russian foreign policy.” The suit claims that those statements aren’t true, and the New York Times “has engaged in a systematic pattern of bias” against the campaign. The campaign is represented by libel lawyer Charles Harder, known for his representation of Hulk Hogan in his successful privacy suit against Gawker. (CNBC, Reuters, the campaign website, the lawsuit)

2nd Circuit: DOJ can withhold grants to sanctuary jurisdictions

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New York created a circuit split Wednesday when it ruled that the U.S. Department of Justice can withhold crime-fighting money to sanctuary jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate in immigration enforcement. The appeals court ruled in a suit by New York City and seven states, including New York. Three other federal appeals courts have issued contrary decisions. (NBC News, the Associated Press)

Trump’s tweets about juror in Roger Stone trial lead to warning

The federal judge who oversaw the trial of Roger Stone, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, expressed concerns about juror safety Tuesday following allegations of bias by Trump and his allies. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson noted that Trump had shone a spotlight on the jury through his critical tweets. “I shouldn’t have to explain this,” Jackson said. “But any attempts to invade the privacy of the jurors or to harass and intimidate them is completely antithetical to our process of justice.” Trump fired off another tweet during Jackson’s hearing Tuesday. “There has rarely been a juror so tainted as the forewoman in the Roger Stone case,” Trump tweeted. “Look at her background. She never revealed her hatred of ‘Trump’ and Stone. She was totally biased, as is the judge.” Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison Feb. 20 after his conviction for lying to Congress, tampering with a witness, and obstructing the congressional probe of Russian election influence. Stone’s lawyers have asked for a new trial based on claims that the forewoman lied about her awareness of the case and about her animosity toward Trump, and that her alleged bias influenced other jurors. Jackson did not rule on the motion Tuesday. (Law360, the New York Times, NBC News, NPR)

Wife of Justice Thomas recommends hires and fires to Trump

Ginni Thomas, the wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is among the conservative allies of President Donald Trump who have been providing him with suggestions about which people he should fire and hire. In the past, Trump has reportedly passed along Thomas’ suggestions to advisers, but he is giving them more attention since his impeachment trial. (The New York Times, Axios)

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