Britany Riley  //  7/23/17  //  Topic Update

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has expanded the Russia probe to investigate a broad range of business transactions involving the President and his business associates, including his senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner (BloombergWaPo).

Mueller is likely to investigate Jared Kushner’s repeated failure to disclose interactions with foreign nationals on his security clearance forms, and Kushner may face criminal liability (WaPo).

  • But the ultimate decision on the future of Jared Kushner’s security clearance likely lies with President Trump (Politico).
  • Donald Trump Jr.’s attempt to seek damaging information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government violated ethical norms of politics, even if it was not illegal, writes Bob Bauer at Lawfare
  • The Russian government’s interest in repealing the Magnitsky Act, which may have partially been the impetus for its interference in the 2016 election, demonstrates the law’s power, argue Rob Berschinski and Adam Nagy at Just Security

Special Counsel Robert Mueller will allow Donald Trump, Jr. and Paul Manafort to testify publicly before Congress (Politico; WaPo).

  • Despite Jared Kushner’s failure to provide a full accounting of his meetings with foreign nationals on his SF-86 security clearance form, prosecution is unlikely due to the complexity of the form, argues Paul Rosenzweig at Lawfare.

Donald Trump, Jr. did not violate the Federal Election Campaign Act if he was unaware of its provisions, argues Andy Grewal at Yale Journal on Regulation: Notice & Comment.

  • Trump. Jr. may remain civilly liable, and he may nonetheless be criminally liable depending on the evidence, cautions Rick Hasen.

Beth Van Schaack at Just Security suggests that the Magnitsky Act, which garnered new publicity following the disclosure of Donald Trump, Jr.’s meeting, is underutilized.

Ty Cobb will join President Trump’s legal team tasked with responding to the government investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia (NYT).

The lawsuit against the Trump campaign by individuals who had private data released as a result of Russian hacking is likely to survive a motion to dismiss and proceed to discoverywrites Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare.

President Trump held a previously undisclosed, private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit, and the United States government has no records of the meeting (NYTimesWaPo). 

Irakly Kaveladze, a Russian-American businessman with a history of involvement in money laundering, participated in a June 9, 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and individuals with ties to the Russian government (CNNLA TimesWaPo).

  • According to a 2000 Government Accountability Office Report, Kaveladze-linked companies laundered over $1.4 billion (Daily Beast). 
  • In a contemporaneous op-ed, Kaveladze described the allegations as a “witch hunt” (Just Security). 

Donald Trump Jr.’s failure to inquire into the identity of the “crown prosecutor” of Russia mentioned in an email thread raises questions, suggests David Post at Volokh Conspiracy.

Rinat Akhmetshin, a participant in the June 9, 2016 meeting, is “low-hanging fruit” for investigators, as public information suggests he may have lied on his naturalization application, writes Asha Rangappa at Just Security

Russian interference, and Trump campaign collusion, may have extended beyond the general election and occurred during the Republican primary, argues Ryan Goodman at Just Security.

The interests of Trump White House employees under investigation--and their lawyers--often do not align, increasing tensions within the White House, report Julie Pace and Julie Bykowicz for the Associated Press. 

President Trump regrets appointing Attorney General Sessions in light of Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation (NYT).

Andy Wright discusses the possibility that President Trump could grant pardons in connection with the Russia investigation (Just Security).

The Treasury Department has fined Exxon Mobil $2 million for breaching sanctions against Russia in 2014, while under the helm of then-CEO and now-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (NYT).

Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, was heavily in debt to pro-Russia interests before joining the Trump campaign (NYT).

  • Manafort’s legal representation by Reginald Brown, a partner at WilmerHale, where Special Counsel Robert Mueller was also partner, does not necessarily pose a conflict of interest, explains Diane Klein at Dorf on Law.

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.