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.”Read More in The Globe And Mail
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.Read More from the New Zealand Law Society
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.Read More in The New York Times
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.Watch More on MSNBC
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.Read More in The Washington Post
Trump is “having trouble sticking to the ‘America First’ approach to foreign policy that he advocated in the campaign, and there’s a reason for that,” says public policy professor Bruce Jentleson, a former State Department policy planning official. “He’s finding out that ‘America First’ is hard to do in a way that doesn’t leave you shooting yourself in the foot.”Read More in The Christian Science Monitor
“… 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.”Read More at CNN
“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.”Read More at CNBC
Civil engineering professor Henry Petroski says spending on roads and construction is “like apple pie and motherhood — everybody’s for it.” It’s still taking shape, but based on previous reports and statements from Trump administration officials, it would include a combination of government investment, new funding mechanisms to encourage private investment, and regulatory reform to help accelerate approvals and construction timelines.Read More in Curbed
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.
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
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).
Watch on “Capitol Tonight”