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Federal Judge Orders Trump To Turn Over Giuliani’s ‘Muslim Ban’ Memo

The Trump administration was hit with another court slap after U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts ruled that the president must turn over a memo and other documents from a commission led by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani that is believed to have laid out ways to “legally” ban Muslims from entering the country, the Huffington Post reported Friday.

According to the report, Judge Roberts issued the ruling as part of an ongoing lawsuit in the Eastern District of Michigan against President Donald Trump’s second executive order banning travelers from several Muslim-majority countries and suspending the refugee resettlement program. The ban has been blocked in the courts.

The White House has repeatedly said the executive order has nothing to do with religion and does not constitute a “Muslim ban.” But the question of Trump’s intent has come up repeatedly in lawsuits over both the first and second versions of the order — including at a big-stakes hearing earlier this week in Richmond, Virginia.

The directive to turn over what has been dubbed the Giuliani memo came amid a document dispute between the Michigan plaintiffs and the Trump administration, which has urged courts time and again not to consider anything the president or his associates may have said before the travel ban was issued.

After Trump signed the first iteration of his travel executive order in January, Giuliani said the president had asked him to create a commission to figure out how to legally carry out a “Muslim ban.”

“When he first announced it, he said ‘Muslim ban,’” Giuliani told Fox News on Jan. 29. “He called me up and said, ‘Put a commission together, show me the right way to do it legally.’”

Giuliani described the commission as focusing on “danger” instead of religion. He said its members included former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) and other lawyers.

The Arab American Civil Rights League, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and other organizations suing to block the ban argued that the government should release the Giuliani memo and other documents from the commission.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the ongoing litigation, including whether it plans to comply with or defy the judge’s orders to turn over the documents.

The Justice Department will be back in a Seattle courtroom next Monday squaring off against the state of Hawaii in another appeal over the travel ban’s legality, HuffPost reports.

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