President Trump Wades Into Venezuelan Row

Donald Trump has threatened to take strong and swift action against Venezuela if President Nicolas Maduro imposes constitutional changes. That “signals a change in U.S. thinking,” says Fuqua professor Patrick Duddy, a former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela who now directs Duke’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. “Today’s announcement suggests Washington is considering much broader sanctions.”

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Potential Legal Troubles for Kushner, Trump Jr.

“… The statute is pretty clear that it`s a federal crime to solicit a campaign contribution from a foreign source,” says law professor Samuel Buell. “It`s pretty clear that anything of value can count as a campaign contribution and certainly opposition research is something that`s routinely paid for in the political world, and this could be something of value.”

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The Impact of Trump Ignoring Political Norms

Duke Law School professor Neil Siegel says President Trump’s failure to follow long-standing political and constitutional norms “that have long disciplined the White House,” including hostility toward the news media and judicial system, has contributed to a “toxic” political climate.

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Legal Experts Say There’s Evidence of Collusion

“When alleged crimes arise from conversations, there are always fine lines to be drawn,” says law professor Lisa Kern Griffin. “But it is intent that governs which side of the legal line such a meeting falls on, not success. This is obviously not a cast of characters out of some John le Carré novel, and the meeting may have been a bumbling effort.”

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What Is Collusion? Is It Even a Crime?

“Collusion, of course, is not a legal thing. The question of the underlying crime here might be tricky, and would include possible violation of campaign contribution laws. But if there is an underlying campaign violation in play legally, the email and meeting are very strong evidence of a nascent conspiracy and attempt to commit such an offense,” says law professor Samuel Buell.

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Rubenstein Fellow Jack Matlock, a former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, talks about future U.S.-Russia relations.

Collusion? Conspiracy? Here’s What the Law Says

“Anytime you are talking about coordinating or collusion, you are talking about the possibility of conspiracy charges,” says law professor Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor. “But conspiracy is not a crime that floats by itself in the air. There has to be an underlying federal offense that is being conspired to be committed.”

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Al-Qaida in the Age of ISIS: Redouble Our Efforts

“As the fight against ISIS has demonstrated, if al-Qaida is to be defeated, we must redouble our efforts to track down and degrade al-Qaida’s channels of communication, recruitment and finance. It is time to look beyond the threats that ISIS poses and focus once again on al-Qaida before it is too late,” writes Andrew Byers, a visiting assistant professor of history, and a colleague.

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An FDA Drug Voucher Program Needs A Reboot

Professors David Ridley (Fuqua School) and Jeffrey Moe (Global Health) write about Congress updating the laws governing prescription drugs this summer, including changes to a program designed to spur drug development for neglected diseases like dengue, Ebola, Zika and river blindness. “Unfortunately,” they write, “the fix as written to the FDA Reauthorization Act does too little to help the millions of people at risk for these diseases.”

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Why The State Department’s Human Trafficking Report Matters

“The State Department has released its annual Trafficking in Persons report on human trafficking. The big headline was that China was downgraded to Tier 3, the lowest ranking, suggesting that the Trump administration had decided to rebuke China by grouping it with the likes of Syria, Iran and North Korea,” writes Judith Kelley, public policy and political science professor and a senior associate dean at the Sanford School of Public Policy.

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What is the Far-Right’s Endgame?

Historian Nancy MacLean, author of an intellectual biography of James McGill Buchanan, explains how this little-known libertarian’s work is influencing modern-day politics. “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America” examines Buchanan’s vision that MacLean says has become a playbook for a network of people looking to override democracy in order to shift more money to the wealthiest few.

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Debunking Republicans’ Main Argument For Obamacare Repeal

“Honestly, the marketplaces are in OK shape,” says David Anderson, a research associate at the Margolis Center for Health Policy who studies the individual market. “The amount of competition isn’t where some people would like it to be, but this isn’t collapse.”

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Obamacare Gave Me Peace of Mind the AHCA Would Take Away

“I know what it’s like to be unable to see a doctor for even serious injuries. I know what it’s like to constantly hope that you are not sick or injured because the costs would simply be too high. Those are stresses the American Health Care Act will force on millions of Americans – stresses that no American deserves,” writes Ashley Arnold, a master’s student in public policy.

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