Declaration of Prosecutorial Independence: Get ready for DOJ v. Trump

My latest in Slate, based on my research with Ethan Leib.

“On Thursday, Department of Justice officials have scheduled a pair of meetings about an FBI informant’s role in the bureau’s investigations of Donald Trump. In brokering the deal, Trump and the Department of Justice have averted one showdown, but they are still heading toward a confrontation over highly sensitive and confidential material. The bad news is that the next confrontation might provide a pretext for Trump to fire DOJ officials, while further endangering our nation’s intelligence gathering and the rule of law. The good news is that this pretext is so clearly in bad faith that it might allow those DOJ officials to offer an overdue constitutional argument to clarify the limits of executive power: that the president’s constitutional duty to “faithfully execute” the office means he cannot sabotage criminal investigations or national security for self-protection. The next move might be to prepare for declaratory relief in federal court…”

See article for more.

Author: Jed Shugerman

Legal historian at Fordham Law School, teaching Torts, Administrative Law, and Constitutional History. JD/PhD in History, Yale. Red Sox and Celtics fan, youth soccer coach. Author of "The People's Courts: Pursuing Judicial Independence in America" (2012) on the rise of judicial elections in America. I filed an amicus brief in the Emoluments litigation against Trump along with a great team of historians. I'm working on "The Rise of the Prosecutor Politicians," a history of prosecutors and political ambition (a cause of mass incarceration), and "The Imaginary Unitary Executive," on the myths and history of presidential power in America.

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