For an Obama administration lawyer, it was a very uncomfortable one-hour hearing in a Brownsville, Texas courtroom on Thursday, when a clearly angered federal judge confronted the DOJ attorney, sharply scolded her and threatened to sanction the Justice Department.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who earlier blocked President Obama’s executive orders on illegal immigration, had called the hearing to determine if the Obama administration had misled him as to whether the president’s order to ease deportation for certain young illegals was already being implemented.
Fox News reports that the hearing was testy and at times contentious, causing the Justice Department attorney to apologize to the highly annoyed Judge Hanen.
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“Hanen chided Justice Department attorney Kathleen Hartnett for telling him at a January hearing before the injunction was issued that nothing would be happening with regard to one key part of Obama’s actions, an expansion of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, until Feb. 18.”
Judge Hanen showed his displeasure about the Obama attorney’s explanation of what she said was confusion over the amnesty order and its implementation by telling her, “Like an idiot I believed that.”
The federal judge then went on to ask the flustered attorney an extraordinary question concerning President Obama’s integrity:
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“Can I trust what the president says? That’s a yes or no question,” Hanen asked.
“Yes, your honor,” Hartnett replied.
The judge said if he decides to impose sanctions against the Justice Department for misleading the court and making him look “like an idiot,” according to coverage in The Los Angeles Times, “the taxpayers of the [26] states would end up paying their own damages.”
The case landed in Judge Andrew Hanen’s courtroom after 26 states, including Texas, sued the Obama administration over the president’s unilateral move to defer deportation and offer certain rights and privileges to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants.
The Times article notes that Hanen’s comments during the hearing “left little doubt that he sympathized with lawyers for the 26 states, who said they suffered ‘irreparable harm’ when federal officials granted more than 100,000 applications for deferred action after Obama announced the program Nov. 20.”
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