I keep hearing that if Trump fires Mueller we'll face a constitutional crisis. Or if Mueller subpoenas Trump to testify and Trump defies the subpoena, it's a constitutional crisis. Or if Mueller comes up with substantial evidence that Trump is guilty of colluding with Russia or of obstructing justice but the House doesn't move to impeach him, we'll have a constitutional crisis. I have news for you. We're already in a constitutional crisis. For a year and a half the president of the United States has been carrying out a systemic attack on the institutions of our democracy. A constitutional crisis does not occur suddenly like a coup that causes a system of government to collapse. It occurs gradually, as that system is slowly weakened. The current crisis has been unfolding since the waning days of the 2016 campaign when Trump refused to say whether he'd be bound by the election results if Hillary won. It continued through March 4, 2017 when Trump claimed, without evidence, … [Read more...] about Robert Reich: We are living a constitutional crisis | Opinion
WASHINGTON — Attorney General William P. Barr delivered an extraordinary rebuke of President Trump on Thursday, saying that his attacks on the Justice Department had made it “impossible for me to do my job” and that “I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody.” Mr. Barr has been among the president’s most loyal allies and denigrated by Democrats as nothing more than his personal lawyer, but he publicly challenged Mr. Trump in a way that no sitting cabinet member has. “Whether it’s Congress, newspaper editorial boards or the president, I’m going to do what I think is right,” Mr. Barr said in an interview with ABC News , echoing comments he made a year ago at his confirmation hearing. “I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.” Mr. Barr’s remarks were aimed at containing the fallout from the department’s botched handling of its sentencing recommendation for Mr. Trump’s longtime friend Roger J. Stone Jr., who … [Read more...] about Barr Says Attacks From Trump Make Work ‘Impossible’
WASHINGTON — Attorney General William P. Barr is considering stepping down before President Trump ’s term ends next month, according to three people familiar with his thinking. One said Mr. Barr could announce his departure before the end of the year. It was not clear whether the attorney general’s deliberations were influenced by Mr. Trump’s refusal to concede his election loss or his fury over Mr. Barr’s acknowledgment last week that the Justice Department uncovered no widespread voting fraud . In the ensuing days, the president refused to say whether he still had confidence in his attorney general. One of the people insisted that Mr. Barr had been weighing his departure since before last week and that Mr. Trump had not affected the attorney general’s thinking. Another said Mr. Barr had concluded that he had completed the work that he set out to accomplish at the Justice Department. But the president’s public complaints about the election, including a baseless … [Read more...] about Barr Is Said to Be Weighing Whether to Leave Before Trump’s Term Ends
WASHINGTON — The former White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II must testify before House impeachment investigators about President Trump’s efforts to obstruct the Mueller inquiry, a judge ruled on Monday, saying that senior presidential aides must comply with congressional subpoenas and calling the administration’s arguments to the contrary “fiction.” The 120-page decision by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia handed another lower-court victory to House Democrats in their fight to overcome Mr. Trump’s stonewalling. “Presidents are not kings,” wrote Judge Jackson, adding that current and former White House officials owe their allegiance to the Constitution. “They do not have subjects, bound by loyalty or blood, whose destiny they are entitled to control.” The Justice Department, which is representing Mr. McGahn in the lawsuit, will appeal, a spokeswoman said. Still, the ruling by Judge Jackson, who was appointed by President … [Read more...] about Donald McGahn Must Testify to Congress, Judge Rules; Administration Will Appeal
[What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox .] Paul J. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman who is serving a federal prison sentence, had been expected to be transferred to the notorious Rikers Island jail complex this month to await trial on a separate state case. But last week, Manhattan prosecutors were surprised to receive a letter from the second-highest law enforcement official in the country inquiring about Mr. Manafort’s case. The letter, from Jeffrey A. Rosen, Attorney General William P. Barr’s new top deputy, indicated that he was monitoring where Mr. Manafort would be held in New York. And then, on Monday, federal prison officials weighed in, telling the Manhattan district attorney’s office that Mr. Manafort, 70, would not be going to Rikers. Instead, he will await his trial at a federal lockup in Manhattan or at the Pennsylvania federal prison where he is serving a seven-and-a-half-year sentence for … [Read more...] about Paul Manafort Seemed Headed to Rikers. Then the Justice Department Intervened.