Jackson, appointed by President Barack Obama, has instructed the White House to keep "all records of efforts by the White House or other executive branch officials to return, to" back down ", to" record "or to mention White House records" of relations with foreign officials.
A lawsuit filed in May by the watchdog group Citizens for Accountability and Ethics in Washington, as well as two history-oriented organizations: the National Security Archive and the American Foreign Relations Society. The lawsuit argued that the White House did not conduct and risk account the presidential actions required to document the Presidential Record Law.
While the lawsuit preceded a dispute with Ukraine, lawyers who brought the case asked Jackson on Tuesday for a temporary restraining order, citing reports that Trump's phone records with the president of Ukraine and some other leaders were removed from the ordinary base data to the White House and switched to another one that is not commonly used for these calls.
Justice Department attorneys said in a court filing Wednesday that the White House has already taken steps to secure many records that plaintiffs have raised concerns about. The filing also stipulates that, in response to a restraining order request, White House attorneys have expanded the existing instruction on keeping Trump's overseas engagement records.
Justice Department attorneys stated that these actions responded to a judge's request for a "dispute" of the groups' request for a restraining order.
Jackson seemed to agree. Following a conference call on Wednesday, she announced that the restraining order request had been rejected because it contradicted the government's assurances. However, the next day, she issued an order insisting on retaining six categories of record related to the claim.
Jackson's decision to order, despite the court's obligation to keep records, is rather unusual. In most cases, judges simply take note of such bail and state that they assume that the parties involved will abide by it. This order means that anyone who destroys the White House records that he covers can be subject to sanction or even criminal contempt for contempt of court.
Another unusual aspect of the judge's order is that it seems to be directly related to Trump. Whether judges can or should adjudicate directly on the president, unlike members of his constituency, is a matter of dispute. Jackson's order, issued Thursday, seems deliberately worded to avoid direct mention of the president, but it applies to "defendants" in whom only two are sued: the President's Executive Office and President Donald J. Trump.
Representatives of the White House and the Department of Justice declined to comment on the order. At a court filing this week, government attorneys said they believed there was no legal merit in the lawsuit. They filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit back in August, but Jackson has not yet acted on it.