case closed?
May 29, 2019

President Trump wasted no time responding to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's statement on Wednesday regarding his investigation into 2016 Russian election interference and the Trump campaign's conduct surrounding the meddling. In the president's mind, Mueller's words sealed the deal — Trump is an innocent man, no question about it.

But, others pointed out that Mueller really didn't say anything of the sort.

Instead, Mueller said indicting Trump was "not an option" because of Justice Department guidelines that a president cannot be charged while in office and that if his team "had the confidence that the president did not commit a crime, we would have said so." He even suggested that there is another method outside of the criminal justice — that is, impeachment — for formally accusing a sitting president of wrongdoing. So, while Mueller's actual opinion on whether Trump obstructed justice remains evasive, calling the matter a closed case appears premature. Tim O'Donnell

September 1, 2018

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen on Friday ruled against Texas and seven other states in a suit asking for an immediate hold on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Obama administration's program to delay deportation of young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

DACA critics were hopeful Hanen would take their side, as three years ago he ruled against another Obama-era program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), that offered similar respite for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. President Trump rescinded both programs, though, of the two, DACA's end has been the subject of far more protests and court battles.

Hanen's Friday ruling said Texas is correct that former President Obama did not have legal authority to introduce DACA via executive order, but he cited the years-long delay in seeking this injunction as his rationale for denying it. "The states could have brought a lawsuit against the entire program in 2012 or anytime thereafter," he wrote.

Both sides of the suit hailed Hanen's ruling as a win. DACA supporters praised his recognition "that the balance of possible injuries and the public interest weigh heavily in favor of allowing DACA renewals to continue." But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Hanen's agreement about DACA's illegitimacy as the product of an executive order rather than a bill passed by Congress makes him "very confident that DACA will soon meet the same fate" as DAPA. Bonnie Kristian

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