WTF Just Happened Today

Your essential guide to the daily shock and awe in national politics.



Day 901: Radiating insecurity.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 Subscribe: Get the Daily Update in your inbox for free 1/ A federal judge rejected a Trump administration request to assign a new legal team to a lawsuit that blocked the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 census. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman called the request "patently deficient" and that the U.S. had provided "no reasons, let alone 'satisfactory reasons,' for the substitution of counsel." The Justice Department had announced its intention earlier this week to swap out the legal team on the case, but didn't explain why. (Bloomberg / Washington Post)

  • ???? Day 900: Trump is "very seriously" considering an executive order to get the citizenship question on the 2020 census despite statements last week from both his Department of Justice and his secretary of commerce that the administration was printing the census without the question. The Justice Department also assigned a new team of attorneys to defend Trump's attempts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census following the Supreme Court's ruling that effectively blocked the question. A statement released by the DOJ gave no clear reason for the change to the legal team, but experts say the team is likely to face questions on multiple fronts after the Trump administration spent the last 15 months giving conflicting explanations about why the question should be added. Trump also recently ordered officials to keep pursuing the addition of the question, even if it means delaying the constitutionally mandated decennial survey. (New York Times / Politico / Washington Post / CNN / ABC News / Axios)
2/ House Democrats plan to move forward with criminal contempt proceedings against Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for defying congressional subpoenas related to the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. The move is largely symbolic one, unlikely to lead to many tangible consequences. The DOJ will most likely refuse to charge Barr or any other cabinet secretary with a crime, and has even urged officials not to comply with the House Oversight and Reform Committee's subpoenas. (Politico) 3/ Democrats in Congress called on Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to resign over a controversial plea deal he brokered as a U.S. attorney that gave a lenient sentence to Jeffrey Epstein, who served 13 months for sexually abusing dozens of young women and underage girls. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer said Acosta "must step down" because "he engaged in an unconscionable agreement" with Epstein that was "known" by Trump at the time. Acosta defended his 2007 decision, tweeting that he supports the "horrific" new charge... Visit WTF Just Happened Today? for more news and headlines, brought to you by Matt Kiser. The WTFJHT Podcast is narrated and produced by Joe Amditis.


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