The Justice Department office that typically advises the White House on legal actions, including executive orders, approved the controversial immigration executive order President Trump signed last week, BuzzFeed reported.
The Office of Legal Counsel memo, which BuzzFeed posted in full, gave a summary of the proposed executive order before concluding that order was approved “with respect to form and legality.” It was signed by Curtis Gannon, an acting assistant attorney general in charge of the OLC.
Trump’s order bans most immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries for 90 days and also pauses the U.S. refugee resettlement program. It provoked mass protests and numerous lawsuits, and even some Republicans criticized the administration for the hasty rollout. The then-acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, instructed the Justice Department not to defend the order in court, and Trump promptly fired her for the move.
For some time, it was unclear whether the OLC was reviewing this and other Trump executive orders.
Read the OLC memo below: