Barr was attorney general in the George H.W. Bush administration, when Mueller headed the Justice Department's criminal division, and Barr has said he considers the special counsel a friend. It is unclear to what extent, if any, they have discussed recent events. Barr said at his news conference that he had not spoken with Mueller directly about the decision that Trump did not obstruct justice, but he understood it was his "prerogative" to make the call. … [Read more...] about How a legal dispute between Mueller and Barr drove the end of the special counsel’s probe
Presidential legal counsel
National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is getting used to adding “Former” in front of his title. Back in November, we explained that Flynn was known for playing loose with security rules; turns out, “loose” may be better pronounced “treasonous.” It’s looking a lot like Flynn took it upon himself to call Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak on the day President Obama announced sanctions against Russia for interfering with our election. That phone call is problematic on two fronts. First, it’s always a bad idea when Daddy undermines Mommy’s discipline. Second, Flynn may given alternative facts when asked about what he and Kislyak discussed. Flynn is now facing all sorts of accusations, ranging from violations of the Logan Act to flat out treason. Trump is fighting back vowing to go after “illegal leakers” who leaked the transcript of the phone call to the media. … [Read more...] about Trump Card: Keeping Score of Presidential Legal Issues (Week Feb. 10 to 17)
Several organizations voiced their displeasure with Trump’s January 30th Executive Order in the form of a federal lawsuit. Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, the Communications Workers of America, and the Natural Resources Defense Council banded together to fight against the order’s direction that federal administrative agencies repeal two regulations for each new one they adopt. The 49-page Complaint alleges the standard “this order goes beyond the president’s authority under the Constitution,” and the tried and true “this order is detrimental to the health and safety of Americans and the environment.” We’ll see if the court is more enamored with President Trump’s commitment to legislative streamlining, or with the plaintiffs’ argument that requiring the repeal of two motor vehicle safety regs every time OSHA needs a new one is as irrational as it sounds. … [Read more...] about Trump Card: Keeping Score of Presidential Legal Issues (Week Feb. 6 to 10)
As things stand, it will be hard to argue that the President violated federal law blocking by anyone. It seems that the law isn’t violated as long as the tweets are accessible through another website or the Archivist of the United States. With this in mind, it might be difficult to file a successful lawsuit under something like the Freedom of Information Act. … [Read more...] about Donald Trump Is Blocking Twitter Users…Is That Even Legal?
In Myers v. United States, the Supreme Court held that the President has the exclusive power to terminate executive branch officials. The question is, would Mueller be considered a member of the Executive Branch? Well, the Department of Justice is part of the executive branch, and Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General so, perhaps, yes. This very issue came up when President Richard Nixon got Robert Bork to fire Archibald Cox during the Watergate saga. … [Read more...] about How Trump Can Legally Fire Mueller… On His Own