WeChat users want to see evidence behind Trump’s ban on app
- The Trump administration is arguing the US WeChat Users Alliance is not entitled to any evidence because the executive order has no legal effect on them
- President Donald Trump’s order is expected to go into effect on September 20 when the US Commerce Department will delineate what transactions with the app are prohibited
WeChat users who sued President Donald Trump seeking to block his executive order banning the Chinese messaging app in the US on national security grounds asked to see the evidence supporting his decision.
A hearing is scheduled for September 17 in San Francisco federal court on the users’ request for a preliminary injunction. Trump’s order is expected to go into effect on September 20 when the US Commerce Department will delineate exactly what transactions with the app, owned by Shenzhen-based Tencent Holdings, are prohibited.
The US is arguing the group is not entitled to any evidence because the executive order has no legal effect on them and courts cannot review national security determinations by the president. Only the Commerce Department’s implementation of the order may be challenged, the government maintains.
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Trump’s August 6 order, according to the group, would sunder the primary and often exclusive channel many US residents use to communicate with family and friends in both China and the US.
Separately, Patrick Ryan, a TikTok employee who sued Trump last month to block a ban on the video-sharing app under the same executive order, on Thursday asked for a preliminary injunction against the Commerce Department enforcing Trump’s order.
TikTok employees do not even know if they will violate the order, which prohibits otherwise unspecified transactions with the company, by showing up for work or accepting a paycheck, Ryan said.
“Plaintiff and other US employees of TikTok are in imminent danger of losing their livelihood through governmental action that has no basis in fact, was politically driven, and afforded plaintiff no procedural protections,” Ryan said.
“The 1,500 TikTok employees working in the US and their families will not be able to pay their rent or mortgages, or pay for food, medical treatments, and other essentials of life.”
The cases are: US WeChat Users Alliance v Trump, 20-CV-05910, and Ryan v Trump, 20-CV-05948, US District Court, Northern District of California in San Francisco.