18:36, July 24 63 0 abajournal.com

2019-07-24 18:36:06
Afternoon Briefs: Mueller testifies before Congress; Gorsuch advises 2L

Mueller and Trump

Former special counsel Robert Mueller and President Donald Trump. Photos from Wikimedia Commons and Shutterstock.com.

In congressional testimony Wednesday, former special counsel Robert Mueller denied that his investigation was a “witch hunt” and said it did not exonerate President Donald Trump on allegations of obstruction of justice. Asked whether it was fair to say some of Trump’s written answers had been inadequate and showed signs of being untruthful, Mueller responded, “generally.” (The Wall Street Journal here and here, the New York Times, ABC News, Mueller opening statement)

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch replied to a law student who asked for his advice. Gorsuch wrote: “My advice to law students is very simple: Work hard, learn to write and speak effectively, never give up your passions, treasure your family and friendships, find time to do public service, and learn to win—and lose—graciously.” (Law360, Quartz)

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has refused to block a Trump administration rule that requires asylum applicants to first apply for asylum in at least one country they pass through on their way to the United States. U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly said the plaintiffs—two groups that provide legal help to immigrants—failed to establish that they would be irreparably harmed absent a temporary restraining order. (The Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal)

Colorado auditors are investigating allegations of spending abuse and fraud in the state’s Judicial Department after receiving an anonymous tip about problems in the court administrator’s office. The tipster alleged wasteful spending, unexplained paid leave for employees and fraud. In its own investigative report, the Denver Post has raised questions about a $2.5 million leadership training contract awarded to the department’s former chief of staff, Mindy Masias. (The Denver Post)

President Donald Trump has sued a congressional committee and New York state officials in a bid to block a new state law that enables the committee to get his tax returns. (The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Courthouse News Service, Trump lawsuit)