The special counsel’s take on whether obstruction of justice can apply to presidential actions facially within Article II authority is consistent with the text, history, structure and principles of the Constitution, as well as the Supreme Court’s case law on the subject.
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The harder question to answer is whether a president can obstruct justice under the legitimate exercise of his constitutional powers.
Whether the president obstructs justice will turn on whether his actions are supported by Article II itself.
There are a few legal questions worth considering.
A provision of the NDAA “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" 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?
Representative Adam Schiff has revived his effort to get Congress to replace the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs with a new “Consolidated AUMF” that would explicitly name the Islamic State. What follows below is a section-by-section analysis of H.J. Res. 100, intended to highlight the key moving parts while also flagging a few issues that deserve further attention should the bill move forward.
The president can potentially paralyze an agency by deliberately choosing not to nominate anyone in hopes of preventing the agency from functioning at full capacity or perhaps even from functioning at all.
[UPDATE: The Pentagon has released the transcript of a press briefing today, addressing the SOF deployment to Syria among other things. The DOD official explained that, for now, these operators will not accompany the units they assist when those units go into the field, in contrast to current policy for at least some circumstances in Iraq.
On Octover 14th, 2015, President Barack Obama notified Congress that he would be deploying approximately 300 U.S. troops to Cameroon.