If there’s a previous GQ thread about this, please link to it.
As we all know, Trump tweets a lot, and does so almost exclusively through his personal Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump. Many of his tweets, if they’d been executive memoranda, would have been documents that set policy for his Administration. (And were probably contradicted by other tweets.)
There’s a natural tendency to say, “oh, he’s just running his [del]mouth[/del] tiny fingers off, his tweets don’t really mean anything.” But then there’s this:
And he did so via @realDonaldTrump.
Is there some sort of overarching Administration document that gives official guidance regarding the extent to which Trump’s tweets are official communications, or merely unofficial blowing off of steam?
If the answer to (1) is ‘no’, is there some sort of consistent legal theory and treatment of his tweets that helps his subordinates determine whether or not they’ve been given directives?
Has Whitaker officially been appointed? IOW, does Trump’s tweet suffice to appoint Whitaker? (Let’s leave questions about the legality and/or Constitutionality of his appointment out of this, though.)
3a) Is the absence of an effective date of Whitaker’s appointment a problem? This is really a separate issue, but I’m curious about it. The text of the tweet:
The “will become” isn’t exactly what you’d call precise. There’s a searchable archive of Trump’s tweets, and (assuming its database is complete and its search engine works properly) Whitaker is named in only two subsequent tweets. One is the “I did not know Mr. Whitaker” tweet (which makes no reference of his new role) and the other also uses the future tense: “I feel certain he will make an outstanding Acting Attorney General!” rather than “he is an outstanding Acting Attorney General!” So even if we assume Trump’s tweet is an official proclamation, is Whitaker the acting AG?
- If his appointment by tweet is an official act, what are the legal implications for Trump’s tweets in general?