//  6/11/17  //  Topic Update

Take Care had you covered on all things Comey today.  Check out Jed Shugerman’s big takeaways.  He focuses on the big picture here.

  • A transcript of Comey's opening remarks is available here.
  • Comey testified that President Trump tried to derail an F.B.I. investigation and that the President lied and defamed him and the F.B.I.
  • Todd Purdum at Politico takes stock of just how devastating Comey’s testimony was for the President.
  • Matt Flegenheimer captures Comey’s moment at the New York Times.
  • Rebecca Ballhaus provides takeaways from Comey’s testimony for the Wall Street Journal here.
  • As reported in the Washington Post,Comey testified that he leaked notes on his interactions with President Trump in order to spark the appointment of a special counsel.
  • A New York Times op-ed column analyzes Comey’s written statement with an eye to the legal and political issues concerning obstruction of justice.
  • At The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin argues that Comey’s testimony is a “smoking gun” on obstruction of justice.  Norm Eisen and Noah Bookbinder agree.
  • Initial analysis of the transcript here and here.
  • The Wall Street Journal expressed skepticism about Comey’s prepared remarks and the view of law enforcement “independence” that they propound.
  • The New Yorker takes a deep dive into Comey's intellectual history.
  • One day out, Mikayla Bouchard previews James Comey's testimony while a number of security officials testified about the FISA Amendment Act, and the Russia investigation.
  • The Wall Street Journal has some questions of its own for the former FBI Director. Lawfare runs down the key issues at play today.
  • Meanwhile, President Trump is anxious to respond.
  • His aides, however, are increasingly wary of the President's propensity to undercut them.

Lawfare looks back to the Coats-Rogers testimony and executive privilege.

Finally, Evelyn Farkas peers into the Kremlin’s relationship with Russian banks and Jared Kushner’s “secret channel.”

The Washington Post reports that Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coates told associates that President Trump asked him if he could get Comey to back off Michael Flynn in the Russia probe.

Aaron Blake analyzes why the Russia news has become increasingly grim for President Trump.

Politico takes stock of the lessons Trump Administration lawyers have gleaned from the Clinton Administration regarding attorney-client privilege. 

Former FBI Director James Comey reportedly asked Attorney General Sessions not to leave him alone in a room with the President (NYT).

Facing President Trump's fury over the Russia investigation, among other matters, Attorney General Sessions reportedly floated his resignation to the President (The Hill).

Politico compiled everything we know so far about the Mueller investigation into the Trump Administration’s ties to the Kremlin.  

Virginia Senator Mark Werner claims Russian cyber-attacks on election systems were more extensive than recently leaked NSA documents reported (The Intercept).

The leaks showcase serious holes in American cybersecurity, argues Patrick G. Eddington at Cato on Liberty.

A top-secret National Security Agency document came to light; the document offers the most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to date (The Intercept).

Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, stated that so far there is no “smoking gun” evidence proving collusion between the Russians and the Trump administration (WSJ).

Immediately after President Trump took office, his staffers reportedly requested a plan from State Department officials to lift sanctions on Russia imposed as part of the Obama administration’s response to election interference (The Hill).

An FBI investigation might be a “proceeding” under the obstruction of justice statutes under a number of different theories, explain Helen Murillo and Ben Wittes (Lawfare).

  • The ACLU’s Christopher Anders, meanwhile, argues that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should be held accountable for his attempts to thwart the investigations.

A “megadeal” between Qatar and Russia may corroborate statements in the alleged MI6 dossier on President Trump and explain some of the meetings taking place between Jared Kushner, Michael Flynn, and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak, writes Jed Shugerman (Shugerblog).

When an individual is granted a pardon that removes the risk of criminal self-incrimination, that individual may no longer refuse to testify if subpoenaed; however, an individual may refuse a pardon in order to maintain the right against self-incrimination, concludes Eugene Volokh (WaPo).

With increasing focus on his campaign activities, Attorney General Jeff Sessions may very well be among Trump associates at risk in the wide-ranging Russia investigation, argues Emile Cadei (Newsweek).

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., argues that Russian efforts to disrupt U.S. politics consisted of planting fake leads to get U.S. government agencies to intervene in the campaign, instead of actual intervention (WSJ).

Discussion continues of the potential for President Trump to invoke executive privilege to prevent James Comey from testifying to particular matters at his upcoming Senate appearance (ReutersWSJ).

  • Charlie Savage provides an overview of the nature and application of executive privilege, noting that since James Comey no longer works for the federal government, the Administration would need an unprecedented restraining order to prevent testimony (NYT).
  • The ABA discusses the procedures necessary for invoking executive privilege (ABA Journal).
  • Michael Stern argues that executive privilege turns not on whether an official wishes to testify but on whether the president invokes executive privilege (Point of Order).
  • President Trump likely already waived any executive privilege claims regarding conversations with James Comey by frequently and publicly commenting on their content, argue Leah Litman and Laurence Tribe at Take Care.
  • President Trump will not invoke executive privilege to try to block former FBI director James Comey’s testimony from testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee this Thursday (NYTWSJ).


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.