Derek Reinbold  //  4/2/17  //  Topic Update

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has offered to provide testimony to congressional investigators examining Trump’s campaign ties to Russia, in return for immunity from prosecution (WaPoNYTNPRWSJ).

  • Alex Whiting writes that Flynn’s offer isn’t serious, but instead indicates that he may have nothing to say that would incriminate others (Just Security).
  • On Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee held its first open hearing in its investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election (The Hill).

At Just Security, Jack Goldsmith considers potential concerns with a select congressional committee to investigate Russian interference. 

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has stated that Russian interference in the presidential election could be considered an “act of war” (The Hill). 

Rep. Devin Nunes has acknowledged that he made a visit to the White House to view intelligence files regarding President Trump’s wiretapping claims (NYTWaPo).

  • Amber Phillips argues this disclosure makes it harder for Republicans to claim they will impartially investigate Russian interference (WaPo).
  • House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has undermined checks and balances, argues David Corn at Mother Jones.
  • Frank Bruni, at NYTcontends that Nunes is working for President Trump and must recuse himself.
  • Meanwhile, Nunes has blamed Democrats for hurting the panel’s investigation (Politico).
  • Senator Richard Burr, the Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman, promises a fair investigation (LA Times).
  • Nunes had earlier denied that his source was the White House.
  • Eli Lake explains that Nunes’s mishandling of confidential information may undermine any reform efforts against the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which leaves open loopholes for incidental collection (Bloomberg).

Democrats in the House of Representatives have demanded that House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes recuse himself from the panel's investigation of potential ties between Russia and the Trump Campaign (The Hill). 

A public hearing with Obama-era officials about the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference was abruptly cancelled last Friday, a decision that Democrats denounced as an attempt to cut off public access to information (The Hill).

Democrats have been stepping up claims that Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election was an act of warreports Morgan Chalfant at The Hill.

  • Discussing potential U.S. collaboration with Russian interference, Steve Vladeck cautions at Just Security against using the word “treason.” 

The decision by the White House to prevent acting Attorney General Sally Yates from testifying demonstrated the Trump Administration’s aggressive approach to executive privilege, argues Andy Wright in an in-depth report at Just Security.

  • At Lawfare, Helen Murillo and Quinta Jurecic offer a comprehensive legal analysis of the issue.
  • The White House has stated that it would like Yates to testify (The Hill).

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.