President Trump’s tweets this morning are truly remarkable and must be giving fits to Department of Justice attorneys–not to mention his Press Secretary and Cabinet Secretaries who have repeatedly asserted that the Executive Orders do not constitute a “ban.”
You can find the tweets in this CNN story.
Writing as if someone else had signed the (note the title) Executive Orders, Trump declares: “The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.”
These comments surely make DOJ’s litigating position much harder. They show that Trump has not moved from his original campaign pledge to ban Muslims from entering the United States, that the Orders were written (as Rudy Giuliani candidly stated) to find a legal way to impose Trump’s ban, and that the revised Order was simply a cover–not a change in underlying motivation. This latter point is particularly important because the government lawyers have been arguing that if the courts treat the campaign statements as evidence against the Order, then the President would never be able to “purge” the bad intent by issuing a new order. This is not a crazy claim; but by doubling down on his original motive, Mr. Trump gives the courts an easy way to avoid the argument.