The investigation as it developed should not have been conducted by a federal prosecutor, and Attorney General Barr’s public commentary has seriously (and somewhat mysteriously) damaged the credibility of whatever Durham uncovers.
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On Feb. 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit dismissed the House Judiciary Committee's lawsuit to compel the testimony of former White House Counsel Don McGahn. Writing on behalf of the court, Judge Thomas B. Griffith wrote, "The Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of McGahn, responds that Article III of the Constitution forbids federal courts from resolving this kind of interbranch information dispute. We agree and dismiss this case." The opinion is available here and below.
Somewhat lackluster attention to Roger Stone’s trial raises the question of who still cares about the Mueller investigation.
Former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III testified on Wednesday before the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees. Following the hearing, Lawfare brought together Jim Baker, Bob Bauer, Susan Hennessey and Margaret Taylor for a conversation hosted by Benjamin Wittes. They talked about the testimony, what it means for Congress and President Trump, and they talked about Mueller’s legacy as he leaves the scene.
Robert Mueller is testifying before Congress on Wednesday, and members will no doubt ask him repeatedly for his views and findings about President Trump. Mueller has made clear that he has no intention of going beyond what he said in the report itself, which he called “his testimony.” He will likely be firmest on this point with respect to the sensitive issue of presidential conduct.
The House Committee on the Judiciary will host a second hearing on the Mueller report entitled, “Lessons from the Mueller Report, Part II: Bipartisan Perspectives” at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday. A video of the hearing is available here and below.
The House Committee on the Judiciary will host a hearing entitled "Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes" at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday. A video of the hearing is available below, along with witnesses' prepared testimonies.
Witnesses include John Dean, former White House counsel under President Richard Nixon; Joyce White Vance, former U.S. Attorney; John Malcolm, Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation; and Barbara McQuade, former U.S. Attorney.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has rejected Andrew Miller's petitions for both a panel rehearing and a rehearing en banc in his effort to quash a subpoena issued by the grand jury empaneled to examine matters related to the Mueller investigation. Miller was an associate of Roger Stone, who was indicted in January on charges related to obstruction of a proceeding, false statements and witness tampering.
Consider the affirmative dismay with which lawyers are likely to view the actions of Attorney General Bill Barr. Even leaving aside the atmospherics of his recent performances (for example, the almost palpable disdain with which he treated the press at his press conference and the almost cloying way in which he defended Trump's actions as the product of "frustration and anger"), Barr's actions over the past month have left any reasonable observer with a number of questions about the quality of his legal performance.
Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, and he did not conclude that President Trump had obstructed justice. But he did not exonerate the president either.