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Trump Advisor Ordered to Surrender Controversial Immigration Documents Captured by Photographer

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A federal magistrate issued a ruling on Tuesday ordering Trump immigration advisor Kris Kobach to surrender an infamous document that he was photographed taking into a meeting with Donald Trump during the transition.

According to a copy off the lawsuit obtained by LawNewz, the lawsuit stems from a photograph snapped by an Associated Press photographer that appeared to show Kobach carrying several briefing papers into the meeting. A portion of the document was visible upon closer inspection and it appeared to be titled, “Department of Homeland Security: Kobach Strategic Plan for First 365 Days.”

Other images of the document appeared to show they included a number of policy proposals, including the registration of citizens from high risk countries, extreme-vetting, building a border wall with Mexico, and a ban on Syrian refugees, among other proposals.

The plaintiffs in a voting rights act case in Kansas sought the documents as part of the discovery process.  However, Kobach objected to the requested documents as outside the scope of discovery in the particular case.  Nonetheless, the judge ruled Kobach has to surrender the materials to the court.

“[T]he court orders defendant to submit the documents for in camera review so that the court may adequately evaluate defendant’s objection that the documents do not contain information relevant to the reopened discovery categories, Magistrate Judge James O’Hara wrote.  “After reviewing the submitted documents, the court will issue a subsequent order addressing the remainder of plaintiffs’ motion to compel and defendant’s privilege objections to production.”

In essence, the judge’s ruling means he will first examine the materials and then decide whether they are subject to discovery in the case.  Kobach also argued executive privilege exempted disclosure, but the judge said he would rule on that issue after reviewing the material as well.

Kobach could seek to appeal the ruling to the U.S. District Court Judge overseeing the lawsuit prior to disclosing the documents to the magistrate, but he has yet to give any indication of how he’ll proceed.  A Justice Department spokesperson reportedly declined to comment in the matter.

[image via screengrab]

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