When President Trump appointed the unqualified Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general on Nov. 7, 2018, many prominent people believed that the country faced yet another “constitutional crisis” point.
Jack Goldsmith is the Henry L. Shattuck Professor at Harvard Law School, co-founder of Lawfare, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Before coming to Harvard, Professor Goldsmith served as Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel from 2003-2004, and Special Counsel to the Department of Defense from 2002-2003.
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From a detached legal perspective, Trump’s actions are not terribly controversial or worrisome. In context, they are.
“I don’t think there’ll be a report,” President Trump’s former attorney, John Dowd, recently told ABC News. “I will be shocked if anything regarding the president is made public, other than ‘We’re done.’” Referring to a possible report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Dowd suggested Mueller won’t release a detailed public accounting of the results of the investigation because he has nothing on Trump.
President Trump is making noises again about withdrawing the United States from the North Atlantic Treaty, which established NATO. Last week the House of Representatives voted 357-22 in support of the NATO Support Act. The bill does three things.
The New York Times reported on Jan. 11 that the FBI “began investigating whether President Trump had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests” soon after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017. In other words, the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation on the president.
This post is cross-posted on Just Security.