Impact of Supreme Court Rejecting NC Redistricting

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday struck down North Carolina’s 1st and 12th congressional district lines drawn by state legislators in 2011. A three-judge federal court ruling had previously found that lawmakers relied too heavily on race when drawing the boundaries. “You’re likely to see state legislature be extremely careful in using race in redistricting, because uses of race are likely to be struck down by a federal court,” says law professor Guy Charles.

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Former FBI Director to Investigate Links Between Trump, Russia

The testimony of fired FBI Director James Comey, possibly next week, will be a crucial turning point. “This is an iceberg where we still don’t really know how big it is,” says law professor Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor. “Were there other conversations (between Trump and Comey)? Were there other memos? It’s not going to get any better for the president at this point.”

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Why President Trump is Disregarding ‘Constitutional Norms’

Law professor Neil Siegel says the most troubling aspect of Donald Trump’s conduct during and since the 2016 presidential campaign is not any potential violations of the U.S. Constitution or federal law, but his disregard of norms that had previously constrained presidential candidates and his flouting of constitutional conventions that had previously guided occupants of the White House.

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What Is Obstruction Of Justice? An Often-Murky Crime, Explained

Law professor Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor who led the Justice Department’s Enron task force, was initially skeptical about whether the mere firing of FBI Director James Comey could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that President Trump had an improper mental state. But he says subsequent revelations have made the evidence much more robust. “The evidence of improper purpose has gotten much stronger since the day of Comey’s firing,” he says.

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Memo to White House Staff: ‘Lawyer Up’

Donald Trump fired James Comey after asking him to drop the FBI investigation of Michael Flynn raises the spectre of obstruction of justice. Law professor Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor, talks about the legal issues surrounding possible obstruction of justice.

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Trump Should Appoint A Democrat To Run The FBI

Walter Dellinger, a law professor emeritus, writes that “the single best way to maintain the essential credibility of federal law enforcement would be for President Trump to name a Democrat to run the FBI. He also suggests one possible person for the job is Duke Law Dean David Levi, “a Republican most of his life and now a registered independent.” President Ford appointed Levi’s father, Edward Levi, to be attorney general after Watergate.

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The Alleged Trump Tapes: What’s Legal?

“… It’s not legal to use tapes to try to intimidate a witness,” says law professor Samuel Buell about President Trump’s threat that fired FBI Director James Comey “better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press.” Adds Buell: “It wouldn’t even be legal to pretend to have tapes in an effort to intimidate a witness. And what we need at this point is an investigation to look into this and certainly one of the first things that any prosecutor would do in this situation is to subpoena any tapes to find out whether they exist.”

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Reports Of Trump Sharing Classified Info Point To Growing Fear Of Him

“They’re truly frightened about him,” public policy professor Bruce Jentleson says of U.S. intelligence officials. Jentleson, who served as a foreign policy aide in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, notes that an inadvertent disclosure of classified information to Russian officials would demonstrate “incompetence, impetuousness” and “mania,” adding: “I’m scared, too.”

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Trump Stirs A New Question: Are There Tapes?

Law professor Samuel Buell says President Trump’s attempt on Twitter to quiet former FBI Director James Comey could be viewed as an effort to intimidate a witness to any future investigation into whether the firing amounted to obstruction of justice. “… This is also definitive evidence that Trump is not listening to counsel and perhaps not even talking to counsel. Unprecedented in the modern presidency.” Also, political scientist Bruce Jentleson talks to Wisconsin Public Radio about Comey’s firing.

Read More in The New York Times

We Must Root Out The Torturers In Our Midst

That’s why I agreed to support the NC Commission of Inquiry on Torture, a grassroots effort to build momentum for genuine national accountability. The federal government and courts won’t guarantee justice but people can if they insist on transparency and truth,” writes Robin Kirk, co-chair of the Duke University Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute.

Read More in Newsweek

Examining The Fallout Over FBI Director Firing

Law professor Christopher Schroeder talks about President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, casting doubt on Trump’s statement that the FBI was in disarray and calling Trump’s claim that Comey told him he wasn’t being investigated “quite unusual, strange even.” (4:50 mark).

 

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Critics Say Trump Broke The Law In Firing Comey

Some critics of President Trump have accused him of obstruction of justice in his firing of FBI Director James Comey amid the bureau’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia. Law professor Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor, discusses obstruction of justice law and how it might apply to the president’s firing of an investigator.

Read More in The New York Times