The Presumption Of Irregularity

8 min readJul 28, 2020

In so many ways, the Trump administration has been one long assault on the rule of law, now culminating in a budding police state. (In retrospect, Donald Trump’s entire career has also been one long assault on the rule of law without ever being held to account.) One of the most important elements of Trump’s attack on our rule of law has been the almost complete corruption of the Department of Justice. And nowhere is the corruption of the DOJ more apparent than the disdain with which the agency’s prosecutors approach the courts they come before, including the Supreme Court.

Last week, the acting US Attorney in the Southern District of New York, one of the last holdouts against DOJ corruption, admitted to a federal judge that the DOJ had blatantly lied in its filings involving the suspension of the Trusted Traveler program for residents of New York State. The DHS had suspended the program back in February, claiming that the state’s new law that allowed undocumented immigrants to get drivers’ licenses and limited some federal access to that data had made it impossible for DHS to properly vet New York residents for the travelers’ program. In its filings in the legal case brought against that suspension, the administration had claimed that New York was singled out for suspension because it was the only state or territory that restricted access to motor vehicle information. That was a lie as several other states had similar restrictions but were still allowed to continue in the Trusted Traveler program. In her mea culpa, the US Attorney declared that the DOJ “deeply regret the foregoing inaccurate or misleading statements and apologize to the court and plaintiffs for the need to make these corrections at this late stage in the litigation”.

Incredibly, this was not the first time the administration had brazenly lied to the federal judge who heard the Trusted Traveler case. This same judge, Jesse Furman, heard the case involving the census citizenship question. In that case, DOJ lawyers themselves provided an entirely phony legal pretext demanded by the Commerce Department in order to add the question, claiming the citizenship data was needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act (VRA). The DOJ lawyers and the Commerce Department both then lied to the courts about the origin of the question. Evidence of those lies emerged during the case, especially when…


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