Law professor Samuel Buell says Comey’s testimony “greatly sharpened the focus” on questions surrounding the obstruction of justice controversy that now sits on President Trump’s doorstep. “All the other events lend emphasis, meaning and context to that event but that event is the real issue,” he says of Trump’s Feb. 14 Oval Office meeting during which the president allegedly pulled Comey aside and suggested the FBI director should “let this go” concerning the Flynn probe.Read More in Politico
“Trump’s decision is as short-sighted as it is disheartening. The oceans already hold about 35 percent of the carbon dioxide that has been released to the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution,” says oceanographer Susan Lozier. “Nothing good for the ocean and the life it contains comes from this storage. Whether you simply admire marine life or count on it for your livelihood, this decision shouldn’t sit well. An already fragile ocean is further imperilled.”Read More in Nature
An assertion that the president fired the FBI director to obstruct an investigation “makes more sense if he was trying to protect himself,” says law professor Lisa Kern Griffin. “In the context of the improper private meeting, (Trump’s) previous requests for loyalty, and then the subsequent termination of Director Comey, this conversation looks closer to obstruction than it did before (Thursday’s) testimony.”
Read More in the San Francisco Chronicle
Fired FBI Director James Comey’s testimony Thursday before a Senate panel offered near certainty that President Trump is under investigation for obstruction of justice, says a Duke law professor. “The hearing greatly sharpened the focus of this matter onto whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice when he isolated FBI Director Comey after a White House meeting and pressured him to drop an active criminal investigation for no proper purpose,” says law professor Samuel Buell.
Some companies and states are working to uphold the Paris climate accord, from which President Trump announced a U.S. departure last week. But, as is often the case, conservative state legislatures can easily undo measures taken at the city and county level, says Megan Mullin, a professor of environmental politics and policy. “Depending on the type of activity, a conservative state that is hostile to the idea of climate change action could clamp down on a city’s flexibility to engage in these activities,” says Mullin.Read More in Vox
The question is whether Trump sought to use the weight of his office to stifle a criminal investigation to protect a friend, or to protect himself, over and above the national interest. “I think the most important thing that’s going to happen is we’re going to get a sense of the feel and flavor of the conversations that took place, at least some of them, between the president and Comey,” says law professor Samuel Buell.
“President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement may have serious consequences for North Carolina and our precious coast. In his withdrawal speech, he made no reference to the fact that the Paris Agreement is the first global step in the direction of slowing down the sea-level rise,” writes
Orrin Pilkey, professor emeritus at the Nicholas School of the Environment.
The special counsel investigating possible ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia’s government has taken over a separate criminal probe involving former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. “That investigation … (has) a number of tentacles and offshoots that involves conduct over a fairly lengthy period of time involving a lot of people,” says Law professor Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor.Read More at AP/CBS News
“They wholly undercut the idea that there is some rational process behind the president’s decisions,” says law professor emeritus Walter Dellinger, who served as acting solicitor general under President Clinton. “I believe it is unprecedented for a president to publicly chastise his own Justice Department.”Read More in The New York Times
“In short, the narrative that attributes Trump’s victory to a ‘coalition of mostly blue-collar white and working-class voters’ just doesn’t square with the 2016 election data,” writes public policy professor Nicholas Carnes and a colleague. “According to the election study, white non-Hispanic voters without college degrees making below the median household income made up only 25 percent of Trump voters. That’s a far cry from the working-class-fueled victory many journalists have imagined.”Read More in The Washington Post
Energy expert Brian Murray joins a panel to discuss the president’s decision to pull the United States out of the agreement. Murray says the move means the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases is stepping away from the international process to address emissions over the next several decades, and that the responsibility will now fall on other nations. (starts at 8:25 mark)Watch More on “Capital Tonight”