• On June 1, Trump announced that the United States would pull out of the Paris Accord, an international climate agreement signed by 195 countries. Trump said the agreement would impose unfair environmental standards on the United States. He said that it would “undermine our economy, hamstring our workers, weaken our sovereignty, impose unacceptable legal risks, and put us at a permanent disadvantage to the other countries of the world.” Under the non-binding accord, the US had pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. The US also pledged to contribute $3 billion to help poor nations adapt to the effects of climate change, in part recognizing that the US and other wealthy nations have been the largest contributors to the greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for the consequences of the changing world climate. Trump said that the US would “begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris Accord or a really entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.”
  • On June 8, James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Trump fired Comey as FBI Director on May 9. In written testimony released before the hearing and in his oral testimony, Comey described a meeting with Trump on February 14 in the Oval Office. According to Comey, Trump met privately with him after asking others in the room, including the Attorney General, to leave. Trump told Comey that he wanted to talk about Mike Flynn. Flynn had resigned the day before from his position as National Security Advisor after making misleading statements about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. Comey testified that Trump told him that Flynn “is a good guy and has gone through a lot.” Trump said Flynn had not done anything wrong in speaking with the Russian ambassador. Trump said to Comey: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” In his testimony, Comey said that although Trump never ordered or directed him to drop the FBI’s Flynn investigation, he took it as a direction: “It is the president of the United States, with me alone, saying I hope this, I took it as this is what he wants me to do. I didn’t obey that, but that’s the way I took it.” Comey’s testimony raised the issue of whether Trump attempted to interfere with the FBI investigation or obstruct justice.
  • On June 16, Trump announced his Cuba policy, reversing efforts of the Obama administration to improve relations between the two countries. The new policy will make commercial dealings with Cuba more difficult and will limit the opportunity of US citizens to travel there. Trump said: “effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba.” Although the details of Trump’s Cuba policy have yet to be written, Trump directed the Treasury Department and the Department of Commerce to draw up new regulations reversing the Obama policies.
  • On June 26, the Supreme Court granted a partial stay of two District Court preliminary injunction orders that had been upheld by the Fourth Circuit and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal. The lower court injunctions had blocked implementation of the administration’s March 6 executive order restricting immigration and refugees from majority-Muslim countries. The Court agreed to hear the consolidated cases in October. The Court granted the administration’s applications to stay the injunctions “to the extent the injunctions prevent enforcement of §2(c) with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide rela­tionship with a person or entity in the United States.” Section 2(c) of the executive order directed that entry of nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen be “suspended for 90 days from the effective date” of the order. The Court found that barring entry of foreign nationals who have “no connection to the United States at all” does not “burden any American party” and that the lower courts had not found that exclusion of such foreign nationals would impose any “legally relevant hardship” on the foreign national. The Court found that the Government’s national security interest was at its peak “when there is no tie between the foreign national and the United States.” The Court said “§2(c) may not be en­forced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” The Court extended this reasoning to sections 6(a) and (b). These sections of the executive order suspend decisions on applications for refugee status for 120 days and suspend entry of refugees in excess of 50,000 for the 2017 fiscal year. The Court upheld the injunction with respect to refugees “who can credibly claim a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

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