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Benjamin Wittes

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Five Things I Learned From the Mueller Report

April 30, 2019 I spent the week after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report going through it section by section and writing a kind of diary of the endeavor. My goal was less to summarize the report than to force myself to think about each factual, legal, and analytical portion of...

Mueller Is Laying Siege to the Trump Presidency

December 4, 2018 “Today is the first day I actually thought Donald Trump might not finish his term in office,” said the legal commentator Jeffrey Toobin on CNN last Thursday. “This is the beginning of the end for Trump,” declared Neal Katyal, a former acting solicitor general, on MSNBC. “The deal may be...

Analysis: The Flaw in Trump's Obstruction-of-Justice Defense

June 4, 2018 President Trump’s lawyers, in a letter released over the weekend, staked out bold the ground that the president can’t commit obstruction of justice in his interactions with the federal law-enforcement apparatus—neither by firing investigators nor by interfering with their performance of their duties. In the letter, written back in January...

How Obama decides your fate if he thinks you're a terrorist

January 3, 2013 Over the past two years, the Obama administration has begun to formalize a so-called "disposition matrix" for suspected terrorists abroad: a continuously evolving database that spells out the intelligence on targets and various strategies, including contingencies, for handling them. Although the government has not spelled out the steps involved in...