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Daily Archives: June 13, 2017

CRS – Special Counsels, Independent Counsels, and Special Prosecutors: Options for Independent Executive Investigations

Special Counsels, Independent Counsels, and Special Prosecutors: Options for Independent Executive Investigations, June 1, 2017 [via FAS]

“Under the Constitution, Congress has no direct role in federal law enforcement and its ability to initiate appointments of any prosecutors to address alleged wrongdoings by executive officials is limited. While Congress retains broad oversight and investigatory powers under Article I of the Constitution, criminal investigations and prosecutions have generally been viewed as a core executive function and a responsibility of the executive branch. Historically, however, because of the potential conflicts of interest that may arise when the executive branch investigates itself (e.g., the Watergate investigation), there have been calls for an independently led inquiry to determine whether officials have violated criminal law. In response, Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) have used both statutory and regulatory mechanisms to establish a process for such inquiries. These responses have attempted, in different ways, to balance the competing goals of independence and accountability with respect to inquiries of executive branch officials…”

See also Politico – Trump faces swift backlash after allies push Mueller firing

CRS – President Trump’s Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement Raises Legal Question

President Trump’s Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement Raises Legal Questions, CRS Legal Sidebar, June 9, 2017. [via FAS] “On June 1, President Trump announced his long-anticipated decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement—an international agreement intended to reduce the effects of climate change by maintaining global temperatures “well below 2°C above pre-industrial… Continue Reading

Agency scorecard on IT reform registers uniform decline

Nextgov: “For the first time since Congress began composing biannual scorecards ranking agency progress adhering to the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act in 2015, agency grades have dropped. Released prior to [the June 13, 2017] 2 p.m. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, 15 agencies held steady, four agencies improved and five fared… Continue Reading

Flow of information on hacking of US election escalates

Bloomberg: “Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported. In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers… Continue Reading

Politico – The lost genius of the Post Office

For almost two centuries, the humble-seeming mail was a hotbed of new ideas. What happened? By Kevin Kosar: “We think a lot about how innovation arises, but not enough about how it gets quashed. And the USPS is a great example of both…When Americans think about the most innovative agency in the government, they think… Continue Reading

Rep. Quigley Introduces COVFEFE Act to preserve Trump Tweets

News release: Legislation Expands Presidential Records Act Preservation to Include Social Media “Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus, introduced the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement or “COVFEFE” Act. This bill codifies vital guidance from the National Archives by amending the Presidential Records Act to include… Continue Reading

Academic Book of the Future Project Report

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Deegan (2017), The Academic Book and the Future Project Report: A Report to the AHRC and the British Library, London. June 2017. “This report, written by Professor Marilyn Deegan, is one of two final outputs from the Arts and Humanities Research Council/ British… Continue Reading