A federal judge is demanding the Trump administration reveal the names of all those consulted by President Donald Trump prior to last year’s announcement of a transgender military service ban.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman issued an order demanding the government provide the requested documentation by midnight Thursday night. Lawyers for the Trump administration then filed a motion for clarification and reconsideration asking Pechman to extend tonight’s deadline.
Pechman denied the government’s request on Tuesday afternoon.
The Trump administration has previously attempted to invoke executive privilege while filing minimal disclosures with the court. Pechman has consistently ruled those efforts insufficient.
Additionally, the Trump administration has repeatedly claimed that no such information actually exists–or at least, could not be identified–because the proposed transgender service ban was not yet in effect at the time of said ban’s announcement, according to Bloomberg News.
Pechman rubbished this line of thought by citing to President Trump’s own tweets on the matter. She wrote, “This case arises not out of any new or future policy that is in the process of being developed, but rather out of the current policy prohibiting military service by openly transgender persons, announced on Twitter by President Trump.”
In a series of tweets penned and sent during the early morning hours of July 26, Trump proclaimed:
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you
The Tuesday order denying the government’s motion was filed after transgender service members and advocates sought to compel disclosure of all evidence the government might use to defend the ban.
The underlying case, Karnoski, et, al. v. Trump, et, al. was filed on August 29, 2017. The plaintiffs are being represented by attorneys with Lambda Legal.
[image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]