Eve Levin  //  6/27/17  //  Topic Update

During the campaign, Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort met with a lawyer linked to the Russian government who promised to provide negative information on Hillary Clinton (NYTWaPo).

  • In response to the offer of Russian documents that “would incriminate Hillary” Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. said, “I love it.” (NYT).
  • Over the week, Trump Jr. gave several conflicting statements about the meeting to the New York Times.
  • In the wake of the Times’s report, Trump Jr. published the full email chain and a statement (here and here).
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to call Paul Manafort to testify next week to discuss the email chain.
  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller will examine the email chain as part of his investigation.
  • Callum Borchers of the Washington Post argues that Trump Jr.’s latest statement to the New York Times was “incriminating.”
  • Trump Jr.’s denials of wrongdoing are closer to confessions, writes Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine.
  • This meeting may have violated a federal law prohibiting campaigns from soliciting things of value from foreign nationals, suggests Rick Hasen at Election Law Blog.
  • This meeting potentially constitutes a criminal violation of federal campaign finance laws, argues Bob Bauer at Just Security.
  • Donald Trump Jr. has retained private counsel and pledged to work with Congress in its investigations (WSJ).
  • NBC has created a Trump-Russia timeline to offer perspective on the latest news (available here).
  • Trump allies have repeatedly denied or obscured links to Russia, observes Philip Bump in the Washington Post
  • Rick Hasen unpacks FEC opinions and analyzes whether foreign solicitation and coordination claims against Trump Jr. are credible in a series of posts (herehereherehere, and here).
  • These emails and activities are not just a personal problem, they implicate the entire Trump campaign, argues Bob Bauer at Just Security.
  • Jed Shugerman wrote two posts, concluding that Trump Jr. was criminally liable and that Kushner and Manafort were potentially further liable for misprision of a felony, then cautioning that opposition research may be protected speech.
  • Mounting evidence of collusion makes the allegations of President Trump obstructing justice more damaging, writes Alex Whiting at Just Security.
  • The most important question is what Russian lawyer Natalia Vesilnitskaya, who called the meeting, offered to Trump Jr., Kushner, and Manafort, write Rolf Mowatt-Larsen and Ryan Goodman at Just Security.
  • Common Cause filed complaints with the Department of Justice (here) and the Federal Elections Commission (here) calling for an investigation of Trump Jr.’s acts (Common Cause).
  • Investigators would probably have to do more to substantiate criminal charges, argue Matt Zapotosky and Ellen Nakashima at the Washington Post.
  • Rick Hasen argues Donald Trump Jr. has no legitimate free speech defense for his actions.
  • The Trump Jr. meeting reveals a contradiction at the center of Citizens United, contends Stuart McPhail at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
  • A campaign finance law barring solicitation of a “thing of value” from foreign nationals probably doesn’t allow for criminal prosecution of Donald Trump Jr., writes Jed Shugerman at Shugerblog.
  • Violating certain campaign finance laws is a criminal offense, argues Ciara Torres-Spelliscy at Bill Moyers.

A complaint has been filed with the DOJ and FEC alleging that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort violated federal law (Common Cause).

  • The letter filed can be found here.

Russian officials were overheard discussing meetings with Trump associates in the spring of 2015 (WSJ).

President Trump said his son was “innocent” of any wrongdoing amid reports of a meeting with Russia-linked lawyers to obtain information about Hillary Clinton (NYTWSJ)

  • Bob Bauer explains what the emails might mean for President Trump.

In a Sunday morning tweet, President Trump claimed that he “strongly pressed” President Vladimir Putin on election interference during a meeting between the two at the G-20 Summit, but that it is “time to move forward” (NYTThe HillWaPo).

  • President Trump also claimed on Twitter that he discussed forming a joint cyber security unit with President Vladimir Putin of Russia.
  • But members of Congress, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), criticized the proposal.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has submitted a proposed budget for his investigation, but it will not be made public (WaPo).

Trump loyalists’ attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation are baseless smears, contend David Sklansky at Take Care.

Democratic donors and campaign staff are suing the Trump campaign for conspiring in the release of hacked Democratic emails (NYT).

  • You can read the complaint here.

Cockrum et al. v. Donald Trump for President, a civil case filed on the Russian hacking conspiracy, may be the most compelling private case filed so far, argues Jed Shugerman at Shugerblog.

The campaign finance staute should specifically target foreign countries attempting to meddle in U.S. elections, argues Michael Dorf at Take Care.

Knowledge of the DNC hack might warrant criminal charges under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Actargue Helen Klein Murillo and Susan Hennessey at Lawfare.

No, President Trump and Hillary Clinton’s email transgressions are not alike, writes Linda Qiu at the New York Times

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.