Washington (CNN)Five federal courts dealt blows to President Donald Trump on Friday just as the limits of his legal strategy to block an impeachment inquiry became clear.
It amounted to a challenging end of a challenging week for Trump, who remains consumed by an impeachment crisis that is clouding his presidency.
Within moments of each other, a career diplomat began painting a damning portrait of the President’s foreign policy to lawmakers just as Trump lost his appeal in a federal appeals court to stop a House subpoena of his tax documents, which he’s guarded fiercely since refusing to make them public as a candidate.
Then, in rapid succession, judges in New York, Texas, Washington state and California sided against Trump administration initiatives meant to limit immigrants from entering the country — both through a physical barrier and by raising the requirements on migrants seeking legal status.
Friday night, the man in charge of executing much of Trump’s immigration agenda, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, submitted his resignation to the President as the legal setbacks mounted. Long in the works, and by all accounts unrelated to the court decisions or the impeachment crisis, the move nonetheless fueled a sense of an administration in flux. McAleenan was the fourth person to serve in that post since the Trump presidency began.
All of the court cases will be appealed. But the rulings added to the sense of Trump’s worsening legal fortunes, and Democratic investigations into his finances and foreign activity seemed to gain steam.
A silver lining came in the afternoon, when Trump announced a “phase one” trade agreement with China that he hopes will signal the beginning of the end of a withering trade war. News of the emerging deal sent stocks soaring, even as the President acknowledged it still requires “papering.”