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Virginia judge blasts Trump travel ban, cites lack of evidence of any threats

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Virginia judge blasts Trump travel ban, cites lack of evidence of any threats
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Virginia judge blasts Trump travel ban, cites lack of evidence of any threats

A Virginia federal judge Friday offered a blistering critique of the Trump administration’s travel ban, citing a “startling” lack of evidence that travelers from the seven Muslim-majority countries represented a specific national security threat.

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A Virginia federal judge offered a blistering critique of the Trump administration’s travel ban on Friday, citing a “startling” lack of evidence that travelers from the seven Muslim-majority countries represented a specific national security threat.

U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema did not immediately rule on a request for a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of President Trump’s disputed executive order, but she characterized its language as overly “broad and imprecise.”

Brinkema’s remarks during a packed hearing here come a day after a federal appeals court left in place a separate order that effectively suspends Trump’s travel ban.

During the hourlong hearing, Brinkema highlighted statements from a group of former top national security officials of both parties who said that they were “unaware of any specific threat” posed by travelers from the designated countries. They also suggested that the administration’s order could “undermine the national security of the United States.”

“I don’t have a scintilla of evidence that counters this argument,” Brinkema said, directing her remarks to government lawyers.

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