Russian Interference

From pro-Trump cyberattacks on the electoral process, to rumored financial ties to the Trump Organization, to questionable contacts with senior U.S. officials, Russia’s relationship with the Trump Administration is rife with uncertainty.

The Functions and Potential (but Fixable) Flaws of the “Protect Mueller” Bills

8/7/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The bills to protect the special counsel from removal have some rough spots that can and should be worked out.

Marty Lederman

Georgetown Law

A Small Glitch in a Bill to Protect the Special Counsel

8/3/17  //  Quick Reactions

Sometimes it matters where in the sentence you put 'only'

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Versus Trump: The Collusion Lawsuit

7/27/17  //  Uncategorized

On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Charlie and Easha discuss a newly-filed lawsuit brought by private plaintiffs who allege that Trump's campaign and Trump advisor Roger Stone conspired with Russians to disclose private information about the plaintiffs. Listen now!

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

The Self-Pardon Question: What Comes Next?

7/27/17  //  Commentary

By Jeffrey Crouch: Might Congress amend the Constitution to take the self-pardon question off the table permanently?

Take Care

How Donald Trump Will Fire Jeff Sessions

7/26/17  //  Commentary

Donald Trump’s Firing Of Jim Comey Provides A Template For How He Will Fire Jeff Sessions

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Updates | The Week of July 17, 2017

7/23/17  //  Daily Update

Special Counsel Mueller's probe has expanded and numerous previously undisclosed meetings between members of the Trump campaign and Russians have come to light.

Updates | The Week of July 3, 2017

7/9/17  //  Daily Update

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is assembling a stable of elite lawyers in the Russia investigation.

Updates | The Week of July 10, 2017

6/27/17  //  Daily Update

The New York Times revealed that Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort met with a Russian government-linked attorney during the campaign who promised them negative material on Hillary Clinton. The revelations sparked substantial commentary regarding liability under criminal or campaign finance laws.

Updates | The Week of June 19, 2017

6/25/17  //  Daily Update

Rumors abound about whether the President will fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller and if Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein will recuse himself from the Russia Investigation. Members of the presidential cabinet retained private legal counsel, but the President continues to contradict his own lawyers.

Updates | The Week of June 12, 2017

6/18/17  //  Daily Update

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Special counsel Robert Mueller is recruiting a team of star lawyers. President Trump's lawyer Marc Kasowitz will reportedly file a complaint over former FBI Director James Comey's "leaked" memo.

Updates | The Week of June 5, 2017

6/11/17  //  Daily Update

Former FBI Director, James Comey, testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, with much analysis.

Versus Trump: "What About Congress? + Steven Wu"

6/8/17  //  Commentary

On a new episode of Versus Trump, Take Care's podcast, Easha, Jason, and Charlie discuss Congress's role and powers in investigations of the Executive. Then, Jason talks with Steven Wu, a Deputy Solicitor General in the Office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, about the case against Trump University, the active role of states in recent years, and other issues in which New York is adverse to the President. Listen now!

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

It Was Legal for the President to Fire Comey. That’s the Problem.

5/10/17  //  Commentary

It’s already too late in the day to trust the executive branch to police itself. That lack of trust should extend to a special prosecutor, independent counsel, or whatever other nice terms you want to call it. At this point, only Congress can credibly investigate the President.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

Trump Jr. and Citizens United

7/13/17  //  Commentary

In a perfect world, federal election law would distinguish between foreign governments involving themselves in U.S. elections and foreign nationals doing so. Unfortunately, we don't live in that perfect world because of the Supreme Court.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

Waivers of Executive Privilege Can Be Informal

6/6/17  //  Commentary

Even Had He Wanted to Assert Executive Privilege, Trump May Have Waived Any Such Claim Over His Conversations With Jim Comey By Blabbing and Tweeting About Them

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Laurence H. Tribe

Harvard Law School

The Russia Sanctions Bill Is Unconstitutional – and Unnecessarily So

7/26/17  //  Commentary

The bill to impose sanctions on Russia for meddling in the 2016 election is unconstitutional. And unnecessarily so.

Daniel Hemel

University of Chicago Law School

President Trump Shouldn't Be Impeached If He Hasn't Committed a Crime

5/22/17  //  Commentary

It would be a grave mistake to call for President Trump's impeachment if he hasn't committed a crime. In an era of tit-for-tat partisanship, lowering the impeachment standard to “anything Congress thinks is wrong” is a recipe for dysfunctional government, one in which the House of one party could perpetually threaten to impeach the White House of another.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

The Comey Firing in (Comparative) Context

5/11/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

President Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey prompted two immediate questions: Is the firing legal, and is this a constitutional crisis? But are these even the right questions to pose?

Aziz Huq

University of Chicago Law School

The Comey Hearing: Lots of Big News

6/8/17  //  Quick Reactions

No GOP attack dogs; Lynch, Sessions, Rosenstein in trouble; McCain’s health

Jed Shugerman

Fordham Law School

The Comey Firing - Legal Analyses From Around the Web

5/15/17  //  Latest Developments

A day-by-day guide to legal analysis of the many questions raised by Trump's abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Take Care

Fake Transparency

5/9/17  //  Quick Reactions

As long as the Deputy Attorney General is writing memos making recommendations to the President, it is time to make a recommendation for the appointment of a special counsel.

Neil J. Kinkopf

George State University College of Law

What if Trump Fires Mueller or Starts Mass Pardons? It Would Backfire.

7/21/17  //  Commentary

There are more and more signals that Trump is exploring firing Mueller and pardoning anyone and everyone in his circle. So what would happen next? Those moves would backfire spectacularly.

Jed Shugerman

Fordham Law School

Yes, Hope is a Sufficient Basis for Obstruction of Justice

6/13/17  //  Commentary

I reviewed all federal circuit courts of appeals cases, federal district court cases, and state supreme court cases for obstruction of justice cases involving a defendant’s use of language similar to “I hope” or “I’m hoping.” The results are in line with what we would expect if “hope” verbiage is uncontroversially and generally understood as implying direction.

Nunes Recuses. Sort Of. Now What?

4/7/17  //  Quick Reactions

Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Devin Nunes will step aside from the committee’s Russia investigation. Sort of. What does this mean -- and what comes next?

Ian Samuel

Harvard Law School

Why Trump Can’t (Lawfully) Fire Mueller

6/13/17  //  Commentary

There’s been a great deal of noise from some of the President’s confidants over the past 48 hours suggesting that he might (try to) remove Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Marty Lederman

Georgetown Law

Trump, Pardons, and Guilt

7/25/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

By Mark Osler: Pardons by Trump would be a significant departure from what the pardon power has meant. Clemency is for the guilty, not the innocent.

Take Care

Executive Privilege(s) and the Testimony of James Comey

6/9/17  //  Commentary

The various references to executive privilege and unauthorized disclosures must be analyzed more closely.

Peter M. Shane

Ohio State, Moritz College of Law

Villains, Careerists, and Patriots: Thoughts on Kobach, Rosenstein, Comey, and McMaster

5/22/17  //  Commentary

When do a person's actions demonstrate that whatever they might have been in the past, they are now villains? When do their curious actions reveal them to be careerists? And when does the sacrifice of personal reputation serve a greater good?

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

Trump’s Advisors Need to Step Up, Or Step Out

5/24/17  //  Commentary

Astounding revelations have erased any reasonable doubt that the President’s shortcomings endanger global security. The time has come to focus on Executive Branch officials who have a duty to guide and, if necessary, constrain Trump. They need to step up, or step out.

Dawn Johnsen

Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Why Trump’s Firing of Comey is Terrifying

5/10/17  //  Commentary

Our country has a very strong, very important norm of apolitical law enforcement. But this norm, ironically, is enforced mostly by politics, not law—and Trump’s action has risked doing it irreparable damage. Going forward, here's what to watch at the state and federal levels.

Zachary Price

U.C. Hastings College of the Law

The Fire Alarm Function of Office-Holding

6/19/17  //  Commentary

Trumps can fire Mueller only by issuing a directive to Acting AG Rod Rosenstein. Here's why -- and why it really matters.

Zachary Price

U.C. Hastings College of the Law

Comey Counterarguments: The Trees, the Forest, and the Firing.

6/8/17  //  Commentary

I’ve been reading the arguments that Comey’s written testimony does not show obstruction of justice. Ultimately, these arguments focus on the trees to obscure the forest, and at the end of that forest is the decisive event of obstruction: Trump firing Comey.

Jed Shugerman

Fordham Law School

Why Impeachment Must Remain A Priority

5/23/17  //  Commentary

The appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller must not lead progressives to put the thought of impeaching President Trump on a back-burner.

Laurence H. Tribe

Harvard Law School

Ten Questions for a New FBI Director

6/6/17  //  Commentary

By Allison Murphy: Given President Trump’s documented and acknowledged efforts to interfere with the independence of the FBI, the Senate should presume that could continue under a new FBI Director. It is therefore incumbent upon Senators to ensure that any Trump nominee for FBI Director commits to certain baseline aspects of independence and impartiality before any new nominee is confirmed. Here are 10 questions that require answers.

Take Care

The Audacity of The President’s "Hope"

6/13/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Senator Risch asked Jim Comey whether a person has been charged for obstruction of justice or any other criminal offense, where they said or thought they hoped for an outcome. We hope he finds our research instructive.

Daniel Epps

Washington University Law School

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Why Firing Comey Guts DOJ's Main Defense of the Muslim Ban 

5/10/17  //  Commentary

Sometimes, when an emissary of the President asks courts to “trust us,” things the President does elsewhere can fatally undermine judicial confidence in the President’s respect for rule of law values. We’ve seen it before and we’re about to see it again.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

[UPDATED] Trump's Innocence and the Rule of Law

5/12/17  //  Commentary

Even if Trump fired Comey because Trump knows himself to be innocent of Russia-related wrongdoing, that would still be unacceptable.

Richard Primus

University of Michigan Law School

Treason and Cyberwarfare

7/27/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

By Carlton Larson: There are two forms of treason recognized under the United States Constitution: (1) levying war against the United States; and (2) adhering to our enemies, giving them aid and comfort. Each raises slightly different issues with respect to cyberwarfare.

Take Care

The Attacks on Mueller’s Investigation are Desperate, Baseless, and Unprecedented

7/13/17  //  Commentary

The President’s minions have been laying the groundwork for Mueller’s dismissal. But their attacks are ill-founded.

David Sklansky

Stanford Law School

Our (Ongoing) Coverage of the Comey Firing

5/11/17  //  Uncategorized

An organized guide to all Take Care coverage and analysis of President Trump's abrupt termination of FBI Director Comey

Take Care

Quick Thoughts On Jared Kushner's Blame Game

7/24/17  //  Quick Reactions

Jared Kushner's statement blames everyone but himself for his failures to disclose contacts with foreign officials.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Seven Reactions to Today’s Coats/Rogers Testimony

6/7/17  //  Quick Reactions

Jed Shugerman analyzes today's live testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Jed Shugerman

Fordham Law School

On Presumptions Of Regularity, And Incidents Of Irregularity

5/11/17  //  Commentary

The Presumption of Regularity, Like All Presumptions, Is Rebuttable, Not Conclusive Evidence

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Sessions Preview and Review

6/13/17  //  Commentary

The already strong case for felony false statement might get unbearably stronger

Jed Shugerman

Fordham Law School

The One Question Worth Asking

7/25/17  //  Commentary

Here's the most important question to ask about indictments, pardons and self-pardons, and obstruction of justice.

Daniel Hemel

University of Chicago Law School

Why Hasn’t Rod Rosenstein Recused Himself From the Russiagate Probe?

5/22/17  //  Commentary

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should recuse himself from the probe into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and the President’s apparent attempt to obstruct the FBI’s inquiry. Rosenstein himself played a key role in the events at the center of the controversy, and his continued involvement casts a shadow over the ongoing investigation.

Daniel Hemel

University of Chicago Law School

How Might Congress Reinforce NATO?

5/30/17  //  Commentary

President Trump's overseas trip has cast doubt on longstanding consensus features of U.S. foreign policy, particularly our commitment to NATO. Here are some ways Congress might respond.

Zachary Price

U.C. Hastings College of the Law

Russia and 'Enemies' under the Treason Clause

7/24/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

By Carlton Larson: If we use “treason” in a loose, rhetorical sense, it is plausible to claim that Trump, Jr., Kushner, Manafort and others committed treason by knowingly meeting with a Russian operative for the purpose of obtaining dirt on Hillary Clinton. But the argument fails as a legal matter.

Take Care

Remarks at the Boston March for Truth

6/8/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

"Whether the structural safeguards the Framers inscribed in the Constitution are up to the task of constraining Trump’s authoritarian tendencies are anybody’s guess. In the end, only the force of public opinion, especially as expressed in elections, can save American democracy."

Michael Klarman

Harvard Law School

What If There’s a Fake Tape?

6/13/17  //  Commentary

Many are speculating about whether President Trump recorded his conversations with fired FBI Director Jim Comey, and Wikileaks has even offered a reward for any Trump-Comey recordings. But new technology allows creation of fake recordings with real people's voices. Now is a good time to start thinking about this technology's implications for our democracy and legal system.

Zachary Price

U.C. Hastings College of the Law

Yesterday's Other Story: Republican Knowledge of Russian Interference?

5/18/17  //  Commentary

Yesterday, a Washington Post story indicated that Republican House leadership may have known that Russia had hacked the DNC and was delivering the contents of the hack to the Trump campaign.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

A New Civil Case Powerfully Opens a New Front Against Trump for Russia Conspiracy

7/13/17  //  Quick Reactions

A powerful new civil complaint that focuses on the Russian hacking conspiracy has been filed against the Trump campaign.

Jed Shugerman

Fordham Law School

A Few Cheers For The Appointment Of A Special Counsel

5/17/17  //  Quick Reactions

In a welcome development, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate Russia-related (criminal) wrongdoing.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

First Tragedy, Now Farce

5/15/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Those who forget history are indeed doomed to repeat it. But when history repeats, it often shifts in the repetition: first acts come as tragedy and then return as farce. By many measures, Nixon was a tragic figure. Trump, by contrast, is pure farce. And unlike tragedies, farces don’t end with a flash of recognition—a moment of self-awareness like King Lear’s on the heath. Farces just keep going until someone cries "enough!"

Jon D. Michaels

UCLA School of Law

Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017

4/23/17  //  Daily Update

Devin Nunes has been replaced on the House Intelligence Committee. More information comes out regarding Russia's interference in the 2016 election, including its relationship with Carter Page and its efforts to undermine American confidence in democracy.

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/10/17  //  Daily Update

Federal prosecutors issued grand jury subpoenas seeking records of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified that she warned the Trump Administration that Flynn could be blackmailed by Russia.

Updates | The Week of May 1, 2017

5/7/17  //  Daily Update

The FBI's investigation of Russian Interference in the 2016 Election continues and Director James Comey spoke out on his pre-election disclosures. Michael Flynn's Russian connections continue to haunt the White House.

Take Care

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump levelled accusations against the Obama administration of improper surveillance activity, claiming that former National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice committed a crime by seeking to "unmask" the identities of Trump associates whose communications were intercepted incidentally by U.S. intelligence agencies. Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Devin Nunes announced that he will step aside from the committee’s Russia investigation.

Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017

4/16/17  //  Daily Update

The FBI received a FISA warrant to monitor a Trump foreign policy advisor during the 2016 campaign, and British intelligence agencies intercepted communications between Russian officials and Trump associates. President Trump's new aggressive posture towards Russia raises questions.

Updates | The Week of May 29, 2017

6/4/17  //  Daily Update

The special counsel investigation got off to a running start this week. Congressional investigations continued with the issuing of multiple subpoenas. Attention turned to President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner, while questions continued to swirl around Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s campaign contacts with Russian officials. Vladimir Putin hinted at Russian interference in the election.

Helen Klein Murillo

Harvard Law School '17

Updates | The Week of March 20, 2017

3/26/17  //  Daily Update

Facing mounting evidence of collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia, including testimony by FBI Director James Comey before the House Intelligence Committee, President Trump's allies sought to deflect attention by denouncing leaks and the intelligence community.

The Story Thus Far: National Security

3/16/17  //  Daily Update

From Guantanamo Bay to wiretapping to foreign intrigue, these have been a busy two months for the Trump Administration. Here are some useful analyses of the story thus far.

Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017

4/30/17  //  Daily Update

This week, the Pentagon's top watchdog initiated an investigation into whether Michael Flynn failed to obtain proper approval to receive money from Russian and Turkish groups. The House Intelligence Committee will continue its Russia investigation with new leadership and an updated witness list.

Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017

4/2/17  //  Daily Update

Former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has offered to provide testimony to the congressional investigations into Russia, in exchange for immunity. The House Intelligence Committee's investigation into potential collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia is mired in controversy.