Ukraine: 4 or more U.S. officials were so upset by Trump's pressure on Zelensky, they spoke to W.H. lawyer

Four or more top U.S. national security officials were so upset by Donald Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine for Joe Biden dirt that they spoke to a White House lawyer with their concerns “both before and immediately after President Trump’s July 25 call with that country’s president,” the Washington Post reports tonight citing “U.S. officials and other people familiar with the matter.” Read the rest

Regardless of whether it ends his term, impeaching Trump have five likely benefits

Yoni Appelbaum's longread in The Atlantic on the case for impeaching Trump draws on heterodox interpretations of the Clinton and Johnson impeachments, as well as the Nixon impeachment, to argue that despite (or even because of) the Senate's near-certain inaction on impeachment, there are real benefits to impeaching Trump, which is looking very likely if accusations of suborning perjury before Congress are true. Read the rest

Federal judge orders emergency injunction and restraining order ending Trump's #muslimban

US District Judge Andre Birotte Jr (Central District of California) heard a plea from 28 Yemeni-born US citizens, and ruled that: Read the rest

Acting Attorney General orders DoJ lawyers not to defend the #muslimban UPDATE: she's fired

Update: they fired her. No foreign surveillance warrants until further notice.

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates has ordered Justice Department lawyers not to make legal arguments in the court challenges to Trump's ban on Muslims entering the USA. Read the rest

Lawrence Lessig on how Congress should behave when the president breaks the law

Lessig compares the current constitutional crisis -- a lawless, reckless president; law enforcement officers flouting federal court orders -- with previous crises, such as the impeachment of Nixon, and says the major difference between then and now: then, Congress had a bipartisan consensus that "they were engaged in the most serious job a member of Congress could have — because they knew that in a critical sense, the very stability of the Republic depended on them behaving as adults." Read the rest