// 8/6/17 //
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has empaneled a grand jury in Washington D.C. in relation to the Russia probe (WSJ).
Two bipartisan pairs of Senators have proposed legislation to limit President Trump’s ability to fire Mueller (WaPo).
- There may be a glitch in one of the bills, argues Charlie Gerstein at Take Care.
- Congress could codify existing special counsel regulations, argues Rick Pildes at Lawfare.
- The two bills can be found here.
Vladimir Putin expelled 755 American diplomatic personnel from Russia (The Hill).
- Putin will allow the United States to decide which diplomats will leave (The Hill).
President Trump signed the Russia sanctions bill but expressed concerns about it (WaPo, LA Times).
- President Trump’s signing statement can be found here.
- The legislation reluctantly signed by President Trump as well as his attached signing statement raise several legal issues, argues Richard Epstein at Just Security.
- The White House also released a public statement on the bill, which is available to read here.
- Lawfare provides an overview of the bill and the controversies related to its passage.
- Commentators noted the President’s tough decision between wanting to improve Russian relations and a potential congressional override should he veto the Russian sanction legislation (LA Times).
- Vice President Pence had gone tough on Russia after its response to U.S. sanctions (WaPo, The Hill).
- Melissa Etehad summarizes the sanctions bill at the New York Times.
- Putin will, reportedly, send troops to the NATO border in coming weeks (NYT).
President Trump personally dictated a misleading statement on his son’s meeting with a lawyer affiliated with the Russian government who promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton (WaPo).
- The White House confirmed the President’s involvement, reports Peter Baker at the New York Times.
- President Trump’s personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, had originally claimed that President Trump was not involved in the drafting of the statement (WaPo).
- In a statement, the administration claimed that President Trump’s role in the drafting of the statement was “something that any father would do” (The Hill).
In a speech to Congressional interns, Jared Kushner claimed that the Trump campaign was too disorganized to collude with Russia (Foreign Policy).
- The audio is available here.
The Republican National Committee has asked its staff to preserve documents related to the 2016 election, in anticipation of a potential investigation (The Hill).
Senator Lindsay Graham has warned President Trump against moving Jeff Sessions to the Department of Homeland Security (The Hill).