Additional reports have arisen regarding former FBI Director James Comey's interactions with President Trump. President Trump tweeted that the appointment of a special prosecutor to helm the Russia investigation was a "witch hunt." Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told the Senate that he knew Comey would be fired before he authored the memo used as justification for the firing. And former Senator Joe Lieberman may be the frontrunner to replace Comey.
Former FBI Director James Comey was reportedly unsettled by his interactions with President Trump (NYT).
We shouldn’t assume the Russia conflict is going away with the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel (Lawfare).
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, back in June of 2016, joked that then-candidate Trump was receiving payments from Vladimir Putin (WaPo).
President Trump is still lying, he is just being more careful in how he does it, according to Neil Buchanan at Dorf on Law.
There are pros and cons to impeachment, writes Eric Posner.
CHECKS & BALANCES
Former Senator Joe Lieberman is said to be the leading contender for Comey’s replacement as FBI Director (CNN).
The Senate Judiciary Committee invited Comey to testify (The Hill).
Immigration arrests are up 38 percent from this time last year (NYT).
Immigrants in detention centers are often hundreds of miles from legal help (Immigration Prof Blog).
Lowering the hiring standards for border patrol agents will erode trust and put the public at risk (The Hill).
Those working in the Trump Administration should ask why they still go to work, suggests Robert Kagan.
JUSTICE & SAFETY
The United States launched a strike on troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (WaPo).
Congress should reverse Attorney General Sessions on his criminal justice policies,argues Inimai Chettiar and Ames Grawert at the Brennan Center.
The North Korean nuclear threat is real, and it is time to start treating it that way,argues Stephen Rademaker at the Washington Post.
President Trump has failed to take basic measures to protect the country’s security,according to Gail Collins at the New York Times.
President Trump’s erratic behavior is dangerous for the country, explains Nicholas Kristof.
President Trump should defer to Congress on domestic policy and focus on national security and foreign affairs, argues John Yoo for the New York Times.
The President could be messing with one of the country’s greatest allies, Israel,according to Ronen Bergman for the New York Times.
Talks on the planned laptop ban for flights from Europe to the United States ended with no deal being struck (Ars Technica).
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Senators probed David Bernhardt, President Trump’s nominee for deputy secretary of the Interior Department, raising concerns about conflicts of interest from his time as a lobbyist (The Hill).
The Office of Government Ethics issued a new compliance certification that all Senate-approved presidential appointees will now be required to submit, and will begin electronically posting all records released through the Freedom of Information Act (POGO).
Even if the Trump Administration decides to stay in the Paris Climate Change Agreement, it is hard to imagine the U.S. stepping up as a world leader on climate issues, notes Ann Carlson on Take Care.
Thursday, the FCC voted to approve a plan scaling back Obama-era net neutrality rules (Ars Technica).
A group of 15 states plus Washington, D.C. filed court papers to defend subsidies paid to health insurance companies to reduce coverage costs for low income people the Trump Administration had threatened to cut off (WaPo, Lyle Denniston, Reuters).
States are stepping up on climate change, but more will need to join the fray if we are to avoid the worst of climate change, writes Sarah Duffy at Legal Planet.
Discussion of the President's proposed budget continues. The CBO releases its long-awaited analysis of the version of the American Health Care Act that has already passed the House of Representatives. Former CIA Director Brennan testifies before Congress that Russia "brazenly" interfered with the election. And the search continues for a new FBI director.
Former CIA Director John Brennan testified to the House Intelligence Committee that he was concerned about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, and that he informed the FBI about his concerns. The Senate Intelligence Committee has issued subpoenas to businesses affiliated with former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. President Trump’s proposed budget, which includes significant cuts to many government programs, has been released.
Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn invokes the Fifth Amendment before Congress. Representative Cummings accuses Flynn of misleading investigators. And discussion about the potential legal and political merits of impeachment of the President continues. Meanwhile, the President visits the Middle East, and details leak about his forthcoming budget proposal.