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Laurence Tribe: A series of high crimes and misdemeanors (video)
President Donald Trump says he asked former FBI Director James Comey if he was under investigation. Constitutional expert Laurence Tribe
takes issue with that and other Trump actions he says are likely impeachable offenses.
The New York Times
Critics Say Trump Broke the Law in Firing Comey. Proving It Isn’t So Easy.
Some critics of President Trump have accused him of obstruction of justice in his firing of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, amid the bureau’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia. Here is a look at the complex legal concept. Several federal statutes criminalize actions that impede official investigations. While some examples of illegal ways to thwart the justice system are specific — like killing a witness or destroying evidence — the law also includes broad, catchall prohibitions...“To prove that he did it not because Comey was grandstanding or showboating or all the other excuses he has given, but because he wanted to impede the investigation, that would be awfully hard to prove,” said Alex Whiting
, a former federal prosecutor who now teaches criminal law at Harvard Law School.
This Harvard law professor thinks Trump really could be impeached over Comey
After President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, it didn’t take long for people to start talking about impeachment. "It may well produce another United States vs. Nixon," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal on CNN. "It may well produce impeachment proceedings.”...Does Trump’s decision to fire Comey meet the legal threshold of obstruction of justice? And is it too early to put impeachment on the table? I put these questions to Mark Tushnet
, a professor of law at Harvard University who focuses on constitutional law and 20-century American legal history..."I'm in the camp of people saying that we've started down a path that might lead to a constitutional crisis, but aren't quite at the point of crisis yet. And we could, of course, turn off the path before we reach the crisis stage."
The Washington Times
Law professor pushes for more stringent bystander laws
Kordel Davis, a member of Beta Theta Pi at Penn State University, says he told his fraternity brothers to call 911 after noticing a 19-year-old pledge who had been drinking tumble down the stairs, then end up comatose on a couch. Nobody called for 40 minutes, and the young man, Timothy Piazza, was later pronounced dead. Amos Guiora, a law professor at the University of Utah, says Mr. Davis should have done more than just urge someone else to call for help. Mr. Guiora is leading a push to impose a duty on bystanders to take affirmative action to assist those they see in peril... “Prosecutors rarely if ever actually prosecute persons for these crimes,” said John Goldberg
, a law professor at Harvard University. Mr. Goldberg said there’s a difference between pressing someone to alert authorities if they see a person being beaten from a distance and demanding they step forward to try to stop murder by agents of a genocidal government.
A call to do justice
For five years in the Army, including one in Afghanistan, David E. White Jr.
was zealous about leadership and public service. At Harvard Law School, he added to his passionate pursuits. “At the end of the day, it’s about justice,” said White, J.D. ’17. “In everything I pursue, my goal is to do justice.” The U.S. Military Academy at West Point, White said, deepened his desire to serve something greater than himself with character and integrity. At Harvard, hoping to discover the power of the law to create peace, he found he aspired as strongly to justice. “The Law School is a training ground a little bit as West Point was, but it’s quite different,” said White, a 2009 West Point graduate. “Here, no one is going to shoot at you, but it’s where you learn to take your rights back.”
New study set to assess debt in Connecticut
Lower-income Nutmeggers saddled with debt have few options for dealing with their fiscal troubles, but a major study is about to find out whether new strategies could help. Set to launch within the next few weeks, the research could be crucial for determining the right resources to support Americans in financial straits. Led by a team of law professors from the University of Connecticut, Harvard and the University of Maine, the Financial Distress Project will assess how at least 1,200 state residents fare while using legal aid, financial counseling or self-help materials to tackle their debts...“We’re never going to have enough resources to give everyone a lawyer who would need one,” said Harvard Law professor Jim Greiner
, one of the study’s leaders. “We’ve got to find ways that make the legal system accessible and usable for folks who can’t afford to hire a lawyer.”
How One Little Cable Company Exposed Telecom’s Achilles’ Heel
An op-ed by Susan Crawford.
Listening to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai go on about “net neutrality” last week felt just like Alice’s encounter with Humpty Dumpty in Wonderland. The large, contemptuous egg says, scornfully, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” Pai says, essentially, that he is looking for a new legal route that will satisfy consumers who care about their internet transmissions being treated fairly and, at the same time, that will lift old-fashioned Ma Bell-era regulation from the dynamic, shiny, wonderful businesses of AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Charter, and CenturyLink. It’s all nonsense.
The Washington Post
A new report says Trump demanded Comey’s loyalty. That could be devastating.
The New York Times is now reporting that according to “associates” of former FBI director James B. Comey, President Trump asked Comey at a private dinner in January to pledge his loyalty. Comey told Trump that he could not do that, the sources say, and now blames this in part for Trump’s decision to fire him...In an interview with me this morning, Harvard professor Laurence Tribe
, a persistent Trump critic, argued that this demand for loyalty, if it happened, could constitute an effort to obstruct justice, particularly when viewed in the light of the subsequent firing of Comey. “The demand for loyalty from the head of the organization investigating those around you, when you have the power to fire that person — if you wrote a novel about obstruction of justice, this would almost be too good to be true,” Tribe told me.
The Washington Post
Jeff Sessions is in deep trouble, and here’s why
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation...Sessions may have some explanation for why he chose to participate in the firing of Comey. But the attorney general may now be in considerable legal peril...So Sessions faces a host of serious, potentially career-ending questions. “As I see it, the President’s discharge of FBI Director Comey on a clearly pretextual basis for the obvious purpose (even if unlikely to be achieved) of shutting down the FBI’s then-accelerating investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was on its face an obstruction of justice, the very same charge that the first Article of Impeachment against Richard Nixon made,” says constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe