Zachary Piaker  //  1/14/18  //  Topic Update


Reports suggest that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is weighing interviewing President Donald Trump, while the President’s team is reportedly seeking to avoid an interview altogether (NBC News; WSJ; WaPo).

  • At Just Security, Kate Brannen breaks down what the news may indicate about Mueller’s investigation as well as what law might apply to the interview.
  • President Trump, once "100%" willing to talk, now refuses to say whether he would speak to Mueller regarding Russian interference (LA Times, NYT, WSJ, WaPo, Politico).
  • How far will the President go to avoid an interview with Mueller?, asks Paul Waldman at The Washington Post.

According to two sources, the White House’s top lawyer called Attorney General Jeff Sessions on President Trump’s behalf shortly before Sessions recused himself from the FBI investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and tried to persuade Sessions not to do so (NYT, WaPo).

It is puzzling that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has not recused himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation, writes Jack Goldsmith at Lawfare.

Mueller has added a veteran cyber-prosecutor to his special counsel team (WaPo).

Senator Dianne Feinstein unilaterally released a transcript of the Judiciary Committee’s interview with one of the founders of the firm that produced an infamous dossier outlining Russian efforts to aid the Trump campaign (NYT, WaPo).

  • President Trump attacked Feinstein for releasing Russia probe testimony (WaPo).
  • The testimony released was the Senate Judiciary Committee’s interview with the Fusion GPS co-founder, Glenn Simpson (WaPo).
  • The transcript is available here.
  • Per the testimony, the FBI knew about possible Trump-Russia collusion (NBC News).
  • Politico analyzes whether this part of a concerted effort by Democrats to change the Russia narrative.
  • Everything you need to know about the "Trump dossier" (WaPo).
  • Who is Glenn Simpson, the founder of the firm responsible for the infamous Trump dossier? Matt Flegenheimer provides an extensive profile at the New York Times.

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s criminal referral of the Steele dossier contains some procedural anomalies, explains Don Wolfensburger at The Hill.

The Kremlin has called the Senate Democrats report on election meddling "unfounded" (LA Times).

Steve Bannon is expected to testify in closed-door session with the House Intelligence Committee (LA Times).

  • Bannon hires a lawyer as he prepares for testimony (WaPo, Politico).
  • Bannon was morally correct, albeit not legally precise, when he called the conduct of senior Trump campaign officials "treasonous," opines Jonathan Rauch at Lawfare.

The House Intelligence Committee deserves credit for securing the disclosure of potentially significant information about the Steele dossier, writes the Wall Street Journal editorial board.

Six House Democrats wrote a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan arguing that Republicans have "put President Trump ahead of our national interests" by failing to address the threat Russia poses to national security (Politico).

President Trump’s personal lawyer is suing Fusion GPS and Buzzfeed over the Steele Dossier (Politico).

  • The Washington Post dives into what it would take for Cohen to win his libel suit.
  • The editor in chief of Buzzfeed News has defended the publication of the Steele dossier in an op-ed.

Fusion GPS, the firm behind the dossier, argued that the federal judge in a different case stemming from the dossier’s publication should recuse himself due to his alleged conflicts of interest (Politico).

  • The firm’s letter urging recusal is here.

A Russian tycoon is suing Paul Manafort on allegations of fraud (WSJ).

The White House has denied Russian collusion over 140 times (WaPo).

Election interference is a pressing cybersecurity issue, argues Paul Rosenzweig at Lawfare.


Updates | The Week of February 19, 2018

2/25/18  //  Daily Update

Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed a new charge against Paul Manafort while Richard Gates pled guilty. Meanwhile, President Trump's proposal to arm teachers drew controversy in Washington.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School

Updates | The Week of February 5, 2018

2/11/18  //  Daily Update

The Nunes memo set off aftershocks; agencies scrambled to implement the Trump Administration's policies to mixed effect; and Congress passes a budget after a brief overnight shutdown.

Updates | The Week of January 22, 2018

1/28/18  //  Daily Update

President Trump attempted to fire Special Counsel Mueller in June 2017 over his obstruction of justice probe, but refrained after White House Counsel Don McGahn threatened to quit.