There have been a couple updates to the story about the Trump administration’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and the case of the Census Citizenship Question.
When we left off on September 17’s story US District Judge Jesse Furman of the Southern District of New York ruled Sept. 14 the case before him could move forward and set a “tentative” date for Nov. 5, saying that “his “strong instinct” is that the two cases before him require a courtroom trial before he can issue a ruling.”
Plaintiffs cited emails that prove Ross, in March of this year, was less than honest with his testimony to Congress he decided to reinstate the citizenship question “as a last-minute” question for the upcoming 2020 decennial questionnaire when, in fact, it had been a plan in the making as early as February 2017.
“There is evidence indicating that the Secretary and other senior administration or campaign officials were determined to include the citizenship question in the 2020 Census and sought out [the Justice Department] to provide a legally defensible reason to do so,” Judge Hazel wrote in his ruling.the NewsBlender; September 17, 2018
For the convoluted background read here.
Our first update comes via ABC News dated September 21st. District Judge Furman ordered that Ross could be deposed on his decision to “reinstate a question regarding citizenship status” to the 2020 census.
“U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman of the Southern District of New York wrote in his opinion Friday that “Secretary Ross must sit for a deposition because, among other things, his intent and credibility are directly at issue.””
Our second update comes via The Hill’s Friday report that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “rejected a request from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to temporarily block an order” for Ross to be deposed.
The DOJ has also asked the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to quash Ross’s deposition. Ginsburg is letting that request, which is scheduled to be reviewed on Oct. 9, play out first.
“The application is denied without prejudice, provided that the Court of Appeals will afford sufficient time for either party to seek relief in this court before the depositions in question are taken,” the court’s public information office said.The Hill; October 5, 2018
Ross is set to be deposed on October 11. Solicitor General Noel Francisco said if the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals denies the request there will be “little or no time for the parties and the Supreme Court to act” before that date.
Reuters’ reported that in an ACLU-amended complaint to a July ruling from Judge Furman ‘adds details,” saying “senior officials at DOJ helped Secretary Ross concoct a purportedly legally defensible rationale for adding this question while hiding the request originated with Secretary Ross and not from DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.” The DOJ’s request for acting assistant attorney general John Gore for the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division to not be deposed has already been denied by the Court of Appeals.
ACLU lawyer Dale Ho who is representing some of the groups suing tweeted his response to the Supreme Courts’ ruling on Friday.
The DOJ ‘declined to comment,’ The Hill said.
One other update to touch upon is that of the story of California’s US Rep Duncan Hunter and his wife Margaret E. Hunter who were indicted on August 21st on charges they ‘converted more than $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses” and filed false reports with the FEC.
Roll Call reported September 24 that San Diego Federal District Judge Thomas Whelan granted Hunter and his attorney, Gregory Vega, an extension “to go through FBI documents and other discovery materials before going to trial,” citing “two terabytes” of documents. Judge Whelan has not set a trial date, but has set a next “status conference” for December 3. Judge Whelan has told Hunter, and his lawyer, that he [Hunter] is “expected to be present at every hearing” in his case. This will push Hunter’s trial past the November elections.
Meanwhile, Hunter is still on the ballot for reelection and is, by all evidence, running a nasty campaign for California’s 50th District against his Democrat opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar, Politico reported, with campaign adds that “insinuates” Campa-Najjar “is working to infiltrate Congress.”
Najjar’s grandfather was “involved in the terrorist attacks on the 1972 Munich Olympics.”
While Campa-Najjar has forcefully renounced his grandfather, saying he died 16 years before the candidate was born and emphasizing that Campa-Najjar is a Christian who has passed government security clearances, the Hunter campaign is doubling down.
“Ammar Campa-Najjar is working to infiltrate Congress,” an ominous new campaign ad warns of Hunter’s Democratic opponent, invoking “his family’s ties to terrorism” and calling Campa-Najjar “a risk we can’t ignore,” before displaying an image of Hunter, a Marine veteran, in military gear.Politico; October 1, 2018
Hunter and his wife are facing 60 federal charges, which include: Conspiracy to Commit Offenses Against the United States; Wire Fraud; Falsification of Records; Prohibited Use of Campaign Contributions; and Aiding and Abetting.
We’ll continue to watch both of these two stories for more updates.
Here is a story from out in Rifle, Colorado. I’ll let the video speaks for itself.