An obscure counterterrorism authority has been used to create and control proxy forces throughout the war on terror—its use across Africa and Asia points to broader interpretations of the 2001 AUMF and the president’s inherent authority to use force than previously disclosed.
Latest in Article II
The classification status of the documents remains legally relevant, and, in light of new information, any arguments regarding their declassification have been significantly diminished.
Why classification status matters for 18 U.S.C. § 793 and what limitations may exist for a president’s declassification authorities.
The U.S. may have attempted to kill a second Quds Force commander simultaneous with the Soleimani attack, this time in Yemen. The situation underscores the confusion that besets the self-defense justification.
The extent to which federal obstruction of justice statutes apply to the president, especially when concerning actions facially within the office’s powers under Article II, has been hotly contested at least since President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017.
Earlier today, Josh Blackman penned on this site a cogent piece arguing that a president cannot commit the crime of obstruction of justice using valid exercises of his Article II powers as president. There is a lot in Blackman’s article with which I agree, and I urge all readers inclined to race to the judgment that President Trump has obstructed justice to read it carefully. But I ultimately come to a different conclusion—at least theoretically.
President Donald Trump’s lawyer, John Dowd, asserted that the “President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution's Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case.” In a follow-up interview, Dowd added that the president “has more power and discretion on
[Update: Several people reached out after I posted last night, drawing attention to the fact that al-Mourabitoun (also spelled al Murabitun) apparently reunited with AQIM after its initial separation from the group. On the other hand, others reached out to point to indications that the particular leader at the center of the current storm—al Sahraoui—may still lead a splinter faction that resisted/resists the return to the AQIM fold.
The Senate Armed Services Committee voted on Wednesday to send the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2018 to the full Senate. The bill contains a provision “re-establishing regular ports of call by the U.S. Navy at Kaohsiung, or any other suitable ports in Taiwan and permits U.S. Pacific Command to receive ports of call by Taiwan.” If carried out, this provision would represent a dramatic shift in U.S. Taiwan policy.
Early Sunday evening, a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Air Force Su-22 that had just completed a bombing run targeting US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the Raqqa region. The episode raises important questions under the U.N. Charter (see Adil Ahmad Haque’s analysis here). But what about U.S. domestic law?