Justice Dept attorney urged court not to weigh Trump comments in sanctuary city case

Justice Dept attorney urged court not to weigh Trump comments in sanctuary city case
© Greg Nash

A Justice Department attorney urged a federal judge to not consider President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE’s public statements in the case surrounding Trump’s blocked executive order to withhold funding from so-called sanctuary cities.

Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Sidney Thomas is one of the judges on the panel examining whether the order threatens millions of dollars in federal funding to two counties in California, The Associated Press reported.

Thomas asked how the court should consider public statements made by Trump and other officials in favor of withholding funds from all sanctuary cities.

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U.S. Department of Justice attorney Chad Readler said that the judges in the case shouldn’t focus on Trump’s statements, but on the order itself, according to the AP.

“The order has to be judged by its terms and not by public statements,” Readler said.

Readler argued the order only applies to funds from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, and not other federal grants.

The appeals court is reviewing the ruling from a lower court that blocked Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities.

A federal judge had ruled in November that the order was “unconstitutional on its face” and put all federal funding at risk.